A 72-year-old grandmother in Anaheim, Calif. fired shots at a man who was trying to rob her house after he would not leave.
Jan Cooper lives with her 85-year-old World War II veteran husband, who is confined to a wheelchair. To protect him, herself and her home, she grabbed their .35 Magnum Smith & Wesson revolver in the middle of the night when she heard the intruder.
She called 911 and told the dispatcher she was armed, begging for police to be sent.
The man, Brandon Perez, 31, was at first trying to get through the front door. When that failed, he jumped the fence and tried to break into the back door.
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He was able to get the back door loose, and just as he did, Cooper told the dispatcher, "I'm firing."
She fired a shot that narrowly missed the intruder.
Cooper then began cursing and shouting at him, telling him to "back up" before she told the dispatcher, "You'd better get the police here. I don't know whether I hit him or not. I'm not sure. He's standing at my door, my back door. He's in my yard."
Jim Amormino, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department, said, "Even though that dog was barking, he still was desperate to get in. So who knows what may have happened if she didn't fire that round."
Perez was not hit by the shot and was eventually arrested once deputies arrived. He is pleading not guilty to his charges.
He has a record of burglary and narcotics charges and was on parole at the time he tried to rob Cooper's home. He was staying at a halfway house.
Cooper said afterward that she was shocked by her anger, as she rarely ever acts out of rage.
"I am a Christian woman and I'm very proud of it and I don't curse, but after I shot, rage took hold and I just blasted away," she said. "And, in fact, afterwards my husband said, 'I've never heard you talk like that!'"