A woman in Colorado Springs armed with a handgun scared away an intruder when he tried to climb through her bedroom window earlier this week.
It was just before 3 o’clock Sunday morning when Diana Richter heard someone removing the screen from her window. “It was a very beautiful night and I had my windows open,” she told CBS, Denver. When she heard the noise, she quickly grabbed her .380, while warning the would-be intruder to go away. “I don’t know who you are, but I’ll shoot you,” she shouted, but her warning went unheeded.
“It was my worst fear, that’s every girl’s worst fear. You know, two women living in a house alone, it’s everybody’s worst fear,” Richter told another local news station.
As she saw the man’s Nike-sporting foot coming through the window, she fired at him. He initially hid behind a tree, but once Richter hit the tree he was hiding behind with one of the five shots she fired, he took off running down the street.
While the would-be intruder was not struck by any of the bullets, Richter states that looking back she knows that she would not have been protected by the “Make My Day Law” of Colorado, (which, yes, is a reference to the words uttered by Dirty Harry) because the man was not in her home when she fired the shots.
According to Colorado law, a person is justified in using deadly force if there are three factors present. One, the person must have unlawfully entered the home. Two, the resident has to have a reasonable belief that the person entering the home is intending to commit a crime either against the property or the people inside. This crime has to be in addition to the unlawful entry. Third, the resident has to have a reasonable belief that the intruder intends to use physical force against the occupants. In order to be protected by the law, all three of these factors must be present.
Richter would later state that at 3 in the morning with someone trying to break into her home with unknown intentions, the law was the furthest thing from her mind. She was only thinking about doing whatever had to be done in order to protect herself and following the incident, Richter has had a security system installed in her home.
Police searched for the man for several hours with a K-9 unit, but the intruder was never found. He was not believed to be injured either.