Some self-defense shootings have dubious circumstances wherein people can legitimately question whether or not the shooting was justified. Here’s one self-defense shooting that’s about as justifiable as it gets.
An Alabama woman was forced to shoot a home intruder who broke into her home late last Tuesday, endangering her life and the safety of her two young daughters.
Martha Lewis of Dora, Alabama, told WVTM-TV that she awoke at around 3 a.m. to the crash of somebody breaking down the front door. Lewis quickly phoned police, grabbed her gun and went to her daughters’ room. She told both of the girls to arm themselves. The older girl grabbed an axe and the younger one grabbed a butcher knife. It’s a bit odd that this family would keep an axe and a butcher knife on the second floor of their house, but clearly Lewis keeps her family well prepared. Don’t let her southern belle twang fool you: this lady means business.
With all three ladies armed to the teeth, Lewis went to the top of the stairs to confront the intruder. It was there that she spotted the 25-year-old man, Michael Jacobs, standing at the foot of the staircase. The two had a brief, tense conversation that sounds like something that you’d hear out of a movie. According to Lewis, the man began walking up the stairs and asked, “Would you shoot me?”
Lewis honestly answered, “I don’t want to have to, but I will.”
That sounds like a pretty sensible warning. Of all the terrible situations to be in as a bad guy, you’d think that standing down a resolute, armed mother protecting her children would be right up there with surrounded by a SWAT team. To be honest, we’d probably prefer to try our luck with the SWAT team.
With the front door right behind him and a gun-wielding mother of two at the top of the stairs in front of him, Jacobs made a stupid decision. He continued to climb the stairs, forcing Lewis to pull the trigger.
Lewis recalled the moment, “It wasn’t like, oh can I pull the trigger? It was like when should I shoot? When will he be close enough that I know I won’t miss him? That’s one of the things that was going through my mind.”
Jacobs, then plus one bullet wound and minus a few ounces of blood, stumbled out into the front yard. Police arrived and hauled him off to a hospital, where he was placed in stable condition. The police plan to charge Jacobs with burglary, criminal mischief and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Some reports indicate that Jacobs has been kept under heavy sedation because he became combative at the hospital. What a nice guy.
Lewis, on the other hand, will not face any charges. If anything, the police seemed to be relieved that Lewis had pulled the trigger. Lewis, who has owned the gun for three years, added, “One of them said we would be writing up a different report if she had not had that gun.”
“There‘s so much talk about banning guns and gun control, but they’re for protection,” she said. “There’s no way that I could have fought him off.”
Even with her well-armed daughters backing her up, one adult male versus a woman and two young girls in hand-to-hand combat is not a recipe for a happy ending.
Lewis said following the event that her daughters have both been able to sleep well because they feel safe in their home. And they should — with a resolute mother like that watching over them, what do they have to fear?