An attempted robbery at an apartment near the University of Central Florida in Orlando Tuesday afternoon was thwarted when the female victim sent the suspects fleeing after she pulled her own gun on them.
Nour Skargee was in the living room of his apartment when he heard a quick, loud knock at the door just before 5 p.m. He said he looked through the peephole and noticed a man outside with his head hanging down.
Skargee cracked open the door slightly to see what the man needed, and it was then that him and a second suspect forced their way inside. The next thing Skargee knew, he had a gun put to his head.
“He grabbed me by the throat. He took me a little further into the living room and pushed me down and said, ‘Don’t move. Just stay down,'” he told reporters.
Skargee’s live-in girlfriend, Sable Nehme, was in a back bedroom when the incident unfolded.
“When I heard the voices, I looked outside and saw him on the ground,” Nehme said. “I thought ‘Oh my God, I need to get my gun.'”
But when the suspects realized she was in the apartment too, their focus moved to her.
“They said, ‘We’re gonna kill your girl,'” Skargee recalled. “That’s when I lost hope.”
But Nehme had a plan of her own, and it included a .38 revolver that her dad had previously purchased for her for protection.
Nehme ran back to her bedroom and locked the door to give her some time to get to her gun on the top shelf of her closet, but meanwhile, the second suspect was kicking down her bedroom door. By the time she had the revolver in her hand, the door had been shredded and the suspect was standing in her bedroom.
“It was already loaded,” Nehme said. “I just cocked it back and stood right here,” she demonstrated to reporters, showing that she stood only feet from the intruder. Nehme said she didn’t want to shoot the man, but she was prepared to if it came to that.
“He immediately, when he saw the gun, turned right back around, darted out and both of them fled the apartment,” she said with a chuckle.
Skargee said altogether the entire incident lasted less than a minute. In fact, the suspects fled so quickly that they dropped their gun on the way out. It turned out that the gun was fake — a pellet gun — but the two victims, who are both students at UCF, feared the situation could have ended much worse.
“If we didn’t have a gun, it would have been game over. They were bigger than me, bigger than both of us,” Skargee said. “We had no way of stopping them. The gun was the one thing that made them run.”
Police used K-9 units and helicopters to search the area for the suspects, who were only described as two black males in their early 20s, but the search was eventually called off and the suspects are still at large.
As lawmakers push for concealed carry on college campuses, authorities said Tuesday’s incident was one of several recent robberies near the university. However, they’re unsure if the two suspects are the same ones responsible for the other robberies.