This incident occurred on September 16th, 2016 in Atlanta, GA. The woman was a restaurant manager and was staying with a coworker for work reasons. About 4 AM, two armed men and a woman entered the home. The woman was awaken and grabbed her gun for protection. She did sustain an injury and killed one of her three attackers. Incredibly, she had surveillance footage inside the house, so we can watch how this went down. The video is overlayed with her 911 call.
View the video first, and then I have some comments.
At 1:04 in the video, it appears that the first shots may have been fired. Two of the invaders turn and run out the front door and the third runs from the hall and exits out the rear door.
At 1:07, the woman appears and is shooting out the front door. This is the first issue I have. The invaders have left the house at this point. I am not sure that her life is still being threatened. You can’t see what is going on outside, so perhaps the criminals are shooting back at her, or they may be running away. It is hard to definitively say if the threat has passed or not, but this is area of concerns me for two reasons. First, she is shooting one handed while moving at a moving target. This is a very hard shot. All of her bullets are landing somewhere, but where? I count 5 shots. Second, not sure that she can legally articulate that her life was in danger at this point, especially with the 5th shot at 1:14 in the video.
Good on her for calling 911, but when she is chasing the criminals out of her house, I think she would have been better off to put the phone down and use two hands on the gun.
At 1:14, the final shot, she steps into the doorway (below). This is not an effective use of cover. I think, when she came out of the bedroom, she would have been better served to take a position of cover in the hallway behind the wall leading into the front room. She would still have been able to see out the door and into the front yard.
At 1:17, she shuts the door and puts her back to it (below). I don’t see that she locked the door. If she was justified in firing the 5th shot just 3 seconds prior, then there is still an immediate threat in the front yard. It seems she may want to lock the door. Perhaps the door is broken and won’t lock. In any case, she knows where the threat is and turns her back to it.
It also appears the slide is locked back on the gun, so she is out of ammunition. It seems like she is confident the danger has passed, and switched back to condition White.
At 2:42, the one criminal that left through the kitchen, exits by running through a glass door. That had to hurt.
Despite my comments, she did a lot of things right. First off, she had a gun. She had it stored where she could access it. It appears she had some training. As I said, shooting one handed is hard, shooting on the move is hard, shooting at a moving target is hard. She combined all 3 and connected with at least one hit. She immediately called 911. For what was going on, she was amazingly calm with 911. Obviously, this woman had a heavy accent and it sounded like there was a bit of communication issue with the 911 operator, but she remained calm. If the woman had been hysterical, that would have only hindered 911 getting help there.
The other thing to consider, the time from the criminals enter the home until they are chased away is 1 minute and 7 seconds. If your plan to deal with a home invasion is to call the police, shelter in place, and wait for them to solve the problem, think about that plan long and hard. Even if there just happened to be a police car sitting in front of the house, it is going to take some time for dispatch to notify them of the problem, and when the cops are told there are armed invaders in the home, they are not going to run right in to help you. They need to protect themselves as well, and are going to need to formulate a plan. Even with a cop in front of the house, they cannot solve the problem as quickly as you could. And, I doubt your house would be robbed if there was a cop in the immediate area, so add in drive time for the cops, and possibly the need to get into their car, and you can see, response is not immediate.