Disabled Homeowner Shoots and Kills Female Burglar

An Oklahoma gun owner shot and killed an intruder who broke into his home last Thursday. Yeah, yeah, we know – you’ve heard this story and stories just like it a thousand times before. This one’s a little bit different though, because this time the would-be thief was a woman.

The burglar in question was 50-year-old Mary Kathleen Sanders, but she also brought along two accomplices, 26-year-old Misty Dawn Puskaric and 37-year-old Starr Michelle Timmons. According to reports, Sanders had previously worked for the homeowner and therefore knew that he was disabled.

But just because somebody is disabled doesn’t mean that he can’t put up a fight — especially when he’s got a gun in his hand.

According to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the man was awaken by the three suspects as they burglarized his home. At some point between waking up and confronting the would-be robbers, he grabbed his gun. The homeowner shot and killed Sanders just outside of his home, prompting Puskaric and Timmons to flee the scene. The two women were later arrested by authorities and are being charged with first-degree burglary.

It isn’t very often that you hear about a group of women committing a crime against men. It’s kind of surprising considering the fact that they could probably get away with it more easily. Studies have shown that people automatically trust women more than men.

It’s difficult to imagine how social convention might affect a gun owner’s decision to pull (or not pull) the trigger. A popular societal rule is you’re not supposed to hit a girl, so perhaps some think that translates as you’re not supposed to shoot a girl either. Whoever made that rule probably didn’t have home invasions in mind, though.

It makes you wonder: what types of criminals would make you hesitate? You wouldn’t have to think twice about shooting a huge guy with a knife, but what if you walked downstairs at two in the morning to find a woman stealing your stuff? What if the robber is obviously a teenager? Would you still pull the trigger then?

The homeowner in this story was put in a tough situation. When you’re disabled or put at a major physical disadvantage, it’s probably safer to shoot your attacker and ask questions later. Things get a little bit fuzzier if the homeowner has a marked physical advantage over the intruder. In that case it might just be better to hold the criminal at gun point and wait for the authorities.

What do our readers think? Would the age or gender of a burglar affect whether or not you pull the trigger, or is “intruder” the only descriptor that matters when it comes to issues of self-defense?