Neighbors of an Oklahoma City family say an 11-year-old girl acted bravely early Tuesday morning when she shot a man who broke into her home and was attacking her mother.
“I think she’s a hero,” neighbor Carolyn Marsee told The Oklahoman Wednesday.
Police were called to the home around 4 a.m. Tuesday morning. Upon arrival they found 25-year-old Leonard Henry in the street not far from the house. He had been shot twice.
Police told KFOR they believe Henry broke into the house through a back door and attacked the girl’s mother, Brandy Moreno, stabbing her several times. At some point during the attack one of the five children in the home dialed 911.
After that, the 11-year-old girl grabbed a handgun and shot Henry, police said. He ran from the home where he was found in the nearby street not long after the incident.
Both Henry and Moreno were rushed to a nearby hospital. Moreno was last reported in stable condition. Henry was said to be in serious condition at the time.
Neighbors said Henry lived in the home with Moreno, her two children and his three children until about a week ago.
Court records indicate Moreno filed a protective order against him Sept. 18. The protective order alleges Henry “had been molesting (several kids) in the middle of the night for several years.”
Moreno said she “was afraid he is going to hurt her and the children because she reported the abuse,” according to documents filed with the protective order request.
Another of Moreno’s neighbors, Lateisha Lewis, said she recognized Henry from the neighborhood and heard the altercation Tuesday morning.
“The guy has been coming around here," Lewis told KOKH. “He's been going around her trailer and going to her door, knocking on her window and beating real hard. Ran up his vehicle motors and things like that. And then this morning we hear the boom boom and the commotion and the breaking of the glass and come outside and see what's going on.”
Police said they believe the shooting was justified and are unlikely to file any charges against the young girl.
Marsee seemed to agree with the decision, adding that in retrospect, it was a good thing Moreno had recently taught the girl how to use the gun to protect herself.
“(The girl) did the right thing, I don’t care what anybody says,” Marsee said. “She saved her mother and her brothers and sisters.”