Need a good pro-gun story?


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Sir Knight
09-07-2001, 09:32 PM
http://www.healylaw.com/self-def.htm ... 1. [Also appears as No. 811 below) Alarmed at the sound of gunfire in the halls of his Pearl, Mississippi, high school, Assistant Principal Joel Myrick ran to his car to retrieve a pistol. The shooter was an armed student who marched through the school firing on his fellow classmates and teachers. The assailant's efforts to escape the scene ground to a halt when another student used his own vehicle to force the suspect's white car into the grass, where it spun to a stop. Myrick used the delay to catch up to the armed student and hold him for police. Pearl schools Superintendent Bill Dodson said of Myrick, "We think he's a hero for keeping more lives from being lost. The young man with the gun still had rounds in the rifle and could have injured other people." (The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, MS, 10/2/97; not reported by ABC, CBS, or CNN, mentioned two times by NBC)

2. In April 1998, a 14-year-old middle school student in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, walked into a school dance with a .25-caliber handgun and opened fire, killing a science teacher and wounding several students. He turned to flee, but the owner of the hall, James Strand, armed with a shotgun, chased him into a field. When the boy stopped to reload, Strand captured him and held him until police arrived 11 minutes later. (not from Armed Citizen)

3. In May 1998, 15-year-old Kip Kinkel walked into the crowded cafeteria of Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon, and opened up on students with a .22-caliber semiautomatic rifle. He shot wildly at first, then started singling students out for death. At one point Kinkel walked up to a student who was lying on the floor, placed the rifle to her head, and attempted to fire three times, but nothing happened. Wrestler Jacob Ryker, shot through the lung in the first wave of bullets, charged the 15 feet separating him from Kinkel, tackled him, and disarmed him. Had Ryker not done so, the toll could have been much higher than the roughly two dozen injuries and two deaths the shooting caused. Ryker and his family were hunters and target shooters. From the sounds the gun made, Ryker knew Kinkel was out of ammunition. Ryker's parents credited his familiarity with firearms with helping to stop the shooting. (not from Armed Citizen)

January, 1990

4. Bill Hazen was in his cabin near Bakersfield, Calif., shortly after midnight when an intruder forced a sliding glass door. The Los Angeles minister was armed and ordered the man outside. During an ensuing scuffle the attacker ran, but an accomplice appeared in a pickup truck and tried to run down Hazen. The minister fired at the advancing truck and when the vehicle stopped, its occupant got out and said, "I counted six shots; you're out and now I'm going to get you." Hazen fired his large-capacity semi-automatic once more, dropping his adversary. Both men were taken into custody by sheriff's deputies. (The Californian, Bakersfield, Calif. 10/25/89)

5. Wilson Brown, 84, and his wife were watching television in their Pittsburgh, Pa., home when a man climbed through their apartment window. The intruder wanted money, and Brown gave him $2--all he had. But the robber wasn't satisfied, and he put a knife to the wife's throat and demanded more. Brown went to the bedroom, returned with a revolver and fired on his wife's assailant. He let go of her and jumped out the window. (The Press, Pittsburgh, Pa. 9/22/89)

6. New York, N.Y., businessman Richard Rand was walking from his car to his house when a man ran up behind him and tried to grab his money bag. The robber hit Rand over the head and threw ammonia in his face, but Rand managed to draw his licensed revolver and fatally shoot his attacker. (The Post, New York, N.Y. 9/28/89)

7. Paul Green was on his way to buy cigarettes at a Hot Springs, Ark., gas station when he spotted the flash from a large knife in the attendant's cubicle. Armed with a handgun, Green investigated and found a knife-wielding thug stealing money. He told the man to freeze, but the robber tried to stab him. Green fired once, killing the masked would-be thief--a parolee with a long record of violent crime. The female station attendant was not injured. (The Arkansas Gazette, Little Rock, Ark. 10/28/89)

8. A 24-year-old Daytona Beach, Fla., woman heard noises in the back bedroom of her home, and when she investigated she was attacked by a man who tried to pull off her clothes. The pair struggled, but the woman broke free and ran to a closet, where she quickly loaded her revolver. She fired from inside the closet; the would-be rapist fled. (The News-Journal, Daytona Beach, Fla. I ˝/89)

9. When Stanley Cook was parking his car outside his East Point, Ga., apartment, a man put a gun to his head and demanded money. Cook pushed the pistol aside and pulled a revolver from a bag in the car. He fired on his assailant, killing him. Although Cook was ordered to appear in court on involuntary manslaughter charges, police expected the charges to be dropped. (The Journal and Constitution, Atlanta, Ga. 9/12/89)

10. "Give me all you got, buddy," a knife-wielding robber ordered Anderson, Ind., resident Link Oliver as he walked down the street. The 61-year-old man responded by drawing a handgun. Oliver tried to lead his adversary to a nearby store, but the man dropped the knife and ran away. (The HeraldlBulletin, Anderson,lnd. 10/10/89)

11. Bruce Paquette and a friend were hunting in the vicinity of Merrimack, N.H., when they came across a group of vandals ransacking a car. The hunters ordered the foursome to stop and held them at gunpoint until police arrived to take them into custody. (The Monitor, Concord, N.H. 10/16/89)

12. A pregnant Weverton, Md., woman was washing the dishes when she heard a doorknob rattling. She saw a ski-masked man trying to break in, and she raced to a bedroom to grab her husband's revolver. While she was on the phone to police, the prowler broke out a kitchen window to gain entry. The 23-year-old woman fired a shot into the floor; the man fled. (The Morning Herald, Hagerstown, Md. 11/2/89)

13. When the glass shattered in her kitchen door and a man's arm reached in, Theresa Knox of Charlotte, N.C., ran for the bedroom to get her handgun. The resident told him to stop, but the intruder opened the door. Knox fired as he came toward her but missed. The man began smashing windows and then advanced toward the woman again; she then shot and killed him. (The Observer, Charlotte, N.C. 10/27/89)

14. An armed man wearing a bandanna around his face walked into an Austin, Tex., pharmacy and told the pharmacist he didn't want any trouble. Dick Phillips told him there wouldn't be any if he put the gun down. The would-be robber refused, and Phillips pulled a handgun from under the counter and fatally shot the man. Police suspected the slain man in two other pharmacy hold-ups. (The American-Statesman, Austin, Tex . 10/17/89)

15. Joseph Mills' wife awoke when she heard noises outside their Ashland, Va., home. She alerted her husband, and they watched a man who'd been standing on their porch go to a neighbor's home. Mills grabbed a handgun and went outside while his wife called police. The resident caught the prowler jimmying the neighbor's door, and he held the man for police. "I wish we had more citizens like that," the police chief said. (The News Leader, Richmond, Va. 8/22/89)

February, 1990

16. Eighteen-year-old Vern Benadom was home sick when he heard someone enter his family's Ridgecrest, Calif., home. He went to his parents' bedroom, got a shotgun, loaded it and waited in a closet. When one of two intruders entered the room and began grabbing guns, Benadom stepped from the closet and ordered the prowler to put up his hands. The student then captured the accomplice and held both for police. The suspects were identified as escapees from a nearby youth correctional institute. (The News-Review, Inyokern, Calif. 12/14/89)

17. An armed robber in Kansas City, Mo., approached a parked car and told the two women inside to give up their purses. When he demanded that the male passenger surrender his wallet, the man instead pulled a revolver and fired. The would-be thief dropped the purses and his gun and fled. (The Star, Kansas City, Mo. 12/24/89)

18. Jack Loveland returned to his Larimer County, Colo., home to find a strange car outside, the front door open and the lights on. The hunt club manager took a shotgun from his truck and removed the keys from the strange vehicle. When he saw an intruder move through the house and toward a back door, Loveland approached the house and caught the man. The man complied with the resident's orders to strip and lie on the ground until authorities arrived to take the man into custody. (The Coloradan, Fort Collins, Colo. 12/13/89)

19. Council Bluffs, Iowa, gas station attendant Wilber Childers was mopping when a ski-masked man entered and demanded money. Childers struck him with the mop handle and forced him out the door. In moments another masked robber--armed with a shotgun--tried to rob the station. The attendant sprinted for the counter and grabbed a handgun just as the robber fired a blast over his head. Childers pointed his gun at the man, who said, "Please don't shoot me," and then ran from the building. (The World-Herald, Omaha, Nebr. 12/28/89)

20. Arvie Young of Memphis, Tenn., awoke and saw a light on in her home that she knew she'd turned off. When an intruder began breaking down her bedroom door, the 83-year-old woman, who has the use of only one arm, reached for a pistol from her bedside table. She fired once, critically wounding the man before he could enter the room. (The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn. 12/13/89)

21. A 63-year-old Texas City, Tex., man and his wife were asleep when he heard glass breaking. The resident grabbed a shotgun and investigated. He confronted an intruder, and when the man lunged at him the resident fired. A struggle ensued, but the wounded attacker weakened and was subdued. The intruder later died at a hospital. (The Sun, Texas City, Tex. 12/18/89)

22. A Jackson County, Ga., woman had been out hunting near her home, when she returned to find a strange vehicle parked outside. When she realized that someone had broken into her house, she shot all four tires on the car and went to a neighbor's house to call police. Sheriff's deputies found a number of items stolen from the home that had been dropped in the back yard as the thieves made their escape. Two men were later arrested and charged with burglary. (The Herald, Jackson, Ga. 11/29/89)

23. An armed robber in Chicago, Ill., picked the wrong prey when he pressed a gun against the back of an off-duty state trooper who was returning from grocery shopping on the city's West Side. When the ski-masked man announced the robbery, the trooper dropped his groceries, turned and opened fire on the man killing him. (The Sun-Times, Chicago, Ill. 12/29/89)

24. Cleveland Palmer, Jr., was asleep on the couch of his Sandusky, Ohio, home when someone began pounding on his door. The resident opened the door, but a strange man began pushing his way in, saying he was going to hurt Palmer. The homeowner ran upstairs and grabbed a revolver, confronting the intruder on a stairway. Palmer fired on his advancing assailant, wounding him, but the man kept coming. The resident fired twice more, halting the attack; the man fled but was later arrested by police. (The Register, Sandusky Ohio 11/1/89)

25. A retired New York City policeman was accosted by three men outside the check-cashing store where he worked. They tried to force him into a car, but the retiree pulled his licensed gun and killed one of the men. Two other store employees rushed from the store with their licensed firearms and captured the slain man's brother. The third would-be robber escaped in a vehicle. (The Daily News, New York, N.Y 1/14/90)

26. Hearing the sound of breaking glass coming from the monitor in their 13-month-old baby's room, a Parkrose, Oreg., couple rushed to investigate. The mother got there first, finding a naked and bleeding man in the room. She grabbed the child and ran from the room, just as Howard Prink arrived with his handgun. When the intruder lunged at the resident, despite repeated warnings, Prink fired a single shot--killing the man. (The Oregonian, Portland, Oreg. 1/8/90)

April, 1990

27. Dudley Pearce, a door-to-door salesman from South Macon, Ga., was making one of his regular stops when the son of a customer asked for a ride. Pearce agreed, but after the two drove away, the passenger pulled a knife and demanded the 82-year-old salesman's wallet. The assailant ordered Pearce to pull over, got out and walked around toward the driver's side. Meanwhile, Pearce reached under the seat and pulled a revolver, telling the would-be robber not to come any closer. The man continued to approach, and the elderly salesman fired a single, fatal shot. (The Telegraph and News, Macon, Ga. 1/21/90)

28. David Latimer was asleep in his Sunnyvale, Calif., home when five men armed with clubs broke into the house and began beating his roommates in an apparent robbery attempt. Armed with a shotgun, Latimer went to the living room where he encountered one of the intruders in an attack stance with a club. The 20-year-old fired, wounding the assailant and stopping the attacks. (The Peninsula Times Tribune, Palo Alto, Calif. 1/16/90)

29. Hialeah, Fla., merchant Peter Seaman was tending his store when a knife-wielding man entered the store with the blade against the throat of Seaman's friend. The thug robbed the friend and demanded money from the owner. Seaman moved as if to open the register, but came up instead with a handgun. When the would-be robber lunged at him with the knife, the 76-year-old shopkeeper opened fire, killing the man. (The Herald, Miami, Fla. 1/23/90)

30. Three men entered a Valdosta, Ga., store and began looking around. When two customers left the store, one of the men brought a beer to the register, and when manager Walter Shaw rang up the sale, one of the trio pulled a gun and fired. The manager ran for his own gun picked it up and shot once--killing the armed man. The two accomplices begged Shaw not to shoot them, and he held the pair for police. (The Daily Times, Valdosta, Ga. 1/3/90)

31. Bridgeton, Ind., resident Gregg Hayes didn't answer when a stranger came knocking at the door. The homeowner watched the prowler circle the house and come back to the front door, where he began forcing the door. When the man broke in, Hayes shot at him with a revolver--putting the would-be burglar to flight. The fleeing break-in artist couldn't start his getaway car, however, and Hayes held the man for police. He was a suspect in a series of home burglaries. (The Tribune-Star, Terre Haute, Ind. 1/8/90)

32. At a Sauget, Mo., gas station, a man approached attendant James Davis and asked to use the restroom. Davis replied that the station didn't have one, and the man went to his car, got a tire iron, smashed through the glass door and demanded money from the cash register. The attendant had grabbed a semi-auto pistol, and when the robber cornered him in a storage area, Davis shot and killed his attacker. (The Post-Dispatch, St. Louis, Mo. 2/5/90)

33. Pipe shop co-owner Jim Willis was working in a back room of the Shreveport, La., store when two men entered. One demanded money from the register while the other pulled a gun and threatened a female clerk. Willis came out of the back armed with a shotgun, and in an exchange of gunfire he killed one of the robbers and wounded the other. (The Morning Advocate, Baton Rouge, La. 1/20/90)

34. Hearing glass break in her Detroit, Mich., home, Gwendolyn Sherrill woke her mother and then armed herself to investigate. As she was closing the front door she was.attacked; Sherrill fired, wounding a knife-wielding assailant. The suspect was later identified by police as the person responsible for a previous attack on an elderly couple in which an 82-year-old housewife was raped. (The News, Detroit, Mich. 1/23/90)

35. Municipal Judge Charles Margiotti, Jr., heard glass breaking in his East Falls, Pa., home, and he got his revolver and went downstairs to investigate. He saw a man with a shiny object in his hand climbing through the window; the judge shot and wounded the intruder. Police found a screwdriver in the man's hand. And the judge found a gun lying outside that had apparently been dropped by the would-be burglar. (The Daily News, Philadelphia, Pa. 1/4/90)

36. The armed man who intended to rob a Renton, Wash., gunshop should have been forewarned by the police cruiser he had to walk past to enter the store, and the uniformed officer standing just inside the door. Belatedly noticing the policeman, the would-be robber began shooting at him. The officer and a store clerk armed with a semi-auto pistol returned fire, fatally wounding the man. (The Valley Daily News, Renton, Wash. 2/4/90)

37. Edward Denton of Cleveland, Tenn., heard someone kicking at his front door, and the resident was able to get his handgun before an intruder burst into the home. The 69-year-old homeowner fired on the man, at which point the intruder left the house. Denton went to his bedroom to reload, and his attacker returned to try to enter the bedroom. The elderly resident pointed his gun at the man, who this time decided to flee the home. (The Daily Banner, Cleveland, Tenn. 12/14/89)

May, 1990

38. Following a fire at his Houston, Tex., home, Kenneth Root began sleeping in his garage. He was awakened by the sound of someone forcing his garage door late one night, and when three men broke in he was ready. Root, who is paralyzed from the waist down, raised his revolver and fatally shot one of the men, the other two fled. (The Chronicle, Houston, Tex. 1/28/90)

39. Two fishermen were parked on Roberts Island, Calif., when a trio of men drove up and demanded money. After being thrown to the ground by one of the would-be robbers, one fisherman pulled a revolver and fired it into the air. The culprits fled but were soon collared by sheriff's deputies. (The Record, Stockton, Calif. 3/06/90)

40. Hearing screams for help in the early morning hours, two Newport News, Va., citizens came to the assistance of a woman being attacked by a would-be rapist. After being confronted by the first citizen on the scene, the assailant was held at gunpoint by the second neighborhood man to arrive. The 27-year-old suspect was turned over to police and charged with abduction, attempted rape and the use of a gun in a crime. (The Daily Press, Newport News, Va. 11/10/89)

41. A man browsing in Travis Williams' Modesto, Calif., coin shop suddenly pulled a gun and announced a holdup. But just at that moment a customer rattled the shop door, which is kept locked, distracting the would-be robber. Williams was able to draw his own handgun and fire, fatally wounding his assailant. (The Bee, Modesto, Calif. 2/14/90)

42. Hearing footsteps in the middle of the night in his Denver car business, where he also resides, Kendrick Fidler telephoned police, then armed himself with a handgun and investigated. Fidler confronted an intruder and ordered him to lie down. When the man advanced on him, Fidler fired a warning shot. As the man lunged at him, the citizen fired a fatal shot. A second burglar made good his escape. (Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Colo. 3/7/90)

43. Pizzeria owner Charles Kendricks, Sr., of Detroit, Mich., vowed he would never let his guard down again after being shot during a robbery back in 1974. When two men ordered subs, brandished a fake handgun and kicked in a door to attack him, Kendricks, 65, fought back with his handgun, forcing his assailants to flee. One of the pair was wounded, the defiant store owner told police. (The Free Press, Detroit, Mich. 1/3 1/90)

44. Awakened about midnight by banging at the front door, Margaret Hilton of Janesville, Calif., found a raging man demanding admittance. As the man continued to threaten the lives of the two women and three children in the home, the women called for help from sheriff's deputies in the county seat 18 miles away. Finally, the man blocked the rear door of the house and slammed himself through the locked front door, where he met four rounds from Hilton's revolver. Arrested at the scene, the woman was held in jail two weeks before her release. The slain man, it turned out, was a twice-convicted burglar who had just completed a prison term and was sought for parole violation. (The Lassen County Times, Susanville, Calif. 3/6/90)

45. While off-duty Portland, Oreg., policewoman Gloria Lewis used a restroom in a highway rest area early in the morning, a man entered, snatched her purse, started to leave, and then approached her. Lewis warned that she had a gun, and the man fled to the parking lot, where he and a second man tried to run down the pursuing officer. Lewis fired one shot, and later that morning a wounded suspect turned up at an area hospital. He was held on earlier warrants and suspicion in other crimes. (The Oregonian, Portland, Oreg. 1/1/90)

46. An ex-convict who strode into 70-year-old Curtis Hamilton's Tulsa home, demanded money and then knocked him down without warning paid with his life. Hamilton, who said the man was a total stranger, pulled a handgun and killed his assailant. Police said the incident was the third in three months in which homeowners had killed intruders. (The World, Tulsa, Okla. 2/28/90)

47. Dr. Dorothy Williams of East Memphis, Tenn., was getting ready to unload groceries from her car when she noticed a man walking up the sidewalk. Suspicious, she went inside, turned on her lights, and retrieved her revolver before returning to her car for the groceries. The man approached, asked directions, and then pulled a knife and took a swipe at the 68-year-old semi-retired teacher. She raised her handgun and shot the attacker, critically wounding him. (The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn. 3/11/90)

48. Julie Pollard was asleep on the living room couch of her isolated Battle Ground, Wash., home when she heard her dog barking outside and saw a man walking in front of the house. Later, the dog barked again, and she saw the man shine his flashlight into her son's bedroom. Pollard loaded a rifle and went out to investigate. She confronted the intruder and commanded him not to move. When he turned toward her, Pollard shot and wounded the suspect and then detained him for police. The man was on probation for burglary. (The Reflector, Battle Ground, Wash. 1/30/90)

June, 1990

49. A Seattle, Wash., man was riding his bicycle when he saw a group of 20 to 30 young people standing along the street. The bicyclist crossed the street to avoid them, but some of the group pursued and attacked him. They pulled him off the bicycle, knocked him to the ground and continued to beathim. The man drew his registered handgun and shot one of the youths to halt the attack. The wounded attacker, who was identified by police as a teen gang member, fled but was later apprehended by police and charged with assault. (The Times, Seattle, Wash. 4/12/90)

50. Cesar Batalon was willing to give an armed robber the money from the cash register of his Orange County, Calif., service station. But the man demanded the keys to the safe, and Batalon didn't have them and feared the robber wouldn't believe him. Instead, the station owner drew his own handgun and shot the robber. The suspect was soon arrested at another gas station,. where he collapsed from his wound. (The Daily News, Woodland, Hills, Calif. 4/9/90)

51. A Salineno, Tex., woman was alone with her two young daughters when a man attempted to gain entry to the home during the early moming hours. Failing to enter the front door, the burglar began to crawl through a window when the woman fired a shotgun, mortally wounding him. (The Valley Morning Star, Harlingen, Tex. 4/7/90)

52. Edward Tounjian heard yelling outside his Fontana, Calif., home and went outside to check his vehicles. Suddenly an angry neighbor started yelling at him and fired a shot in the air. Tounjian retreated to his home and armed himself. The neighbor followed Tounjian into his home armed with a bowie knife and handgun. After the man ignored orders to stop and drop his weapons, Tounjian shot and killed him. (The Daily ReportlProgress Bulletin, Ontario, Calif. 3/24/90)

53. Betty Quinn was in bed with her husband in their Bradenton, Fla., mobile home when she heard noises and found a man stealing the family VCR. She returned to the bedroom to wake her husband, who armed himself with a handgun and ordered the burglar to the floor. The man refused and moved toward the kitchen, where Mrs. Quinn was calling police, so Quinn shot and wounded him. Taken into custody by sheriff's deputies, the man awaited charges. (The Herald, Bradenton, Fla. 4/6/90)

54. Sitting in his Bonnyman, Ky., home, 80-year-old Charles McIntosh heard the burglar alarm sound in his daughter's home next door. While investigating, the armed McIntosh was attacked by a 33-year-old intruder but managed to fatally shoot him. (The Herald-Leader, Lexington, Ky. 3/16/90)

55. John Nieves was tending bar in Philadelphia when six robbers came in shooting. The intruders shot a customer in the face and then held a shotgun to Nieve's face. Knocking away the gun, Nieves came up firing with a handgun he had purchased that moming, killing one robber and wounding another. The remainder fled, with a third apprehended later by lawmen. (The Daily News, Philadelphia, Pa. 4/11/90)

56. When Cora Moore of Chattanooga, Tenn., was awakened by noises outside her front door late at night, she found a man trying to break down her front door with a piece of outdoor fumiture. When the man broke in and struck the 70-year-old woman, she managed to retrieve a handgun and fire twice, wounding her assailant. The man fled but was soon apprehended by police. (The Times, Chattanooga, Tenn. 3/1/90)

57. Although 90-year-old Gena Scarborough owns a couple of guns, she borrowed a neighbor's revolver when the neighbor reported someone breaking into one of Scarborough's rental properties. Scarborough waited, and when a man came out carrying a stereo and speakers, she detained him until police arrived. (The Times, Dallas, Tex. 4/6/90)

58. A Salem Township, Mich., couple was awakened by a man who entered their bedroom armed with knives in both hands. The homeowner pushed his woman companion from the room, shutting himself in with the intruder. The woman promptly returned with a shotgun and ordered the stranger to drop his knives. While she covered the man, her companion loaded a second shotgun to hold the would-be robber for sheriff's deputies. (The News, Ann Arbor, Mich. 4/14/90)

59. Lois Titchnell was working behind the counter at her Clarksburg, W.Va., grocery when a man walked in, placed a six pack of beer on the counter, pulled a gun and demanded money from the cash register. Titchnell responded with her own revolver, prompting the would-be robber to flee the store. Titchnell got the license number of the robber and his companion, and the pair was promptly collared by the local police chief and a sheriff's deputy. The pair was charged, as well, with another armed robbery the previous day. (The Gazette, Charleston, W.Va. 4/11/90)

60. Cuogn Nguyen was in his Westminster, Calif., restaurant when three men entered, threatened him with a sharp weapon and demanded money from the cash register. Nguyen, 53, pulled a pistol and shot one of the robbers, killing him. The other suspects were arrested by police outside the restaurant. (The Orange County Register, Santa Ana, Calif. 4/16/90)

January, 1992

61. An armed robber was preparing to handcuff Astoria, New York, shopkeeper Robert Knight when Knight seized the opportunity to act. Stooping down, he pulled a pistol from an ankle holster. Both men fired at the same time, but Knight, who has a license for the gun, hit his target, seriously wounding him. (The Daily News, New York City, NY, 09/21/91)

62. As her husband grappled with one of two men who tried to rob their rural Albert, Alabama, store, Menda Pettway picked up a pistol the couple keeps for protection. Firing a single shot, she hit her husband's assailant in the leg, stopping the attack. The man and his confederate fled, but were later apprehended by police. "We're so far away from the law that it's usually up to us to protect our own businesses," a neighbor said. (The Advertiser, Montgomery, AL, 10/12/91)

63. Her family taken hostage by her daughter's ex-boyfriend, Barbara Holt of Kearns, Utah, and her husband were threatened with death, then forced into the bathroom of their home. When the man, armed with a rifle, went into the kitchen with her daughter, Holt slipped into the bedroom and got her .22 pistol. "I was hiding in the corner and when he came out of the kitchen, I just pulled the trigger," Holt said. Her single shot hit the man in the head and stopped the attack. (The Tribune, Salt Lake City, UT, 10/21/91)

64. John Hercules was working at his Nashville, Tennessee, jewelry store when two teenagers entered, displayed a gun and attempted to rob the business. When Hercules confronted the pair, one shot him in the shoulder. Hercules returned fire and fatally wounded his attacker. The other robber fled but was arrested soon after. Police said he confessed to several other robberies. (The Banner, Nashville, TN, 09/12/91)

65. Two men and a woman intent on burglarizing a Cowan, Indiana, home never got inside after they saw what was behind door number one. When the trio kicked the door down, the homeowner was waiting for them with a loaded shotgun, and informed them he would use it if they entered. The three fled, but two suspects were later captured by police. (The Star, Muncie, IN, 10/10/91)

66. William DeMar was at the Riviera Beach, Florida, service station where he works when he noticed two men holding a gun on his boss, Dave Bowers, and Bowers' father. Drawing the handgun he keeps at the garage, DeMar opened fire on the pair, wounding one and stopping the robbery. The wounded man drove away but was later arrested. The other robber also tried to flee, but Bowers grabbed his own pistol and captured the man a short distance away. (The Post, Palm Beach, FL, 09/13/91)

67. Awakened by his five-year-old daughter, who told him a window had fallen out in her room, Darryl Padgett picked up a flashlight but abandoned it for a .22 rifle when a man came through the window. When his order to halt was ignored, Padgett shot the man twice and waited until police showed up to arrest the intruder. "I've taken care of my family all my life," Padgett said. "The old ways are the best ways." (The Californian, Bakersfield, CA, 10/12/91)

68. When John Graves, 81, of Greensboro, North Carolina, took the trash out at night, he also took a pistol. He needed it one evening when someone grabbed him. Noticing the would-be robber had two accomplices, Graves pulled his pistol and shot and wounded the teenager. "All the evidence showed that he ... was defending himself," the local prosecutor said. (The News & Record, Greensboro, NC, 09/20/91)

69. When a car pulled into the driveway of a vacant house across the street, Sara Lott of Salley, South Carolina, picked up a pistol and, along with a friend, went to investigate. The man in the car told Lott he was waiting for his girlfriend, but she recognized the car as having been stolen from a neighbor's home. Lott held the man, recently released from prison, at gunpoint for police. (The State, Columbia, SC, 10/03/91)

70. A 44-year-old San Francisco woman, allegedly raped by a man who, despite a court order while awaiting trial, continued to harass and threaten her, found herself being pursued by the man while out for a drive early one morning. When he blocked her car with his own, got our and pulled a gun, the woman pulled her own pistol and, firing through the windshield of her car, shot and mortally wounded her assailant. (The Chronicle, San Francisco, CA, 09/15/91)

71. Anwan Farrooq was behind the counter of his Richmond, Virginia, convenience store when three men entered. As two approached the counter with beer, the third pulled a handgun and opened fire. Hit in the chest by one of the bullets, Farrooq was saved by his steel lined flak jacket. Pulling his own pistol, Farrooq mortally wounded the gunman and wounded one of the accomplices. The third fled. Farrooq began wearing the armored vest when a friend was robbed. (The News Leader, Richmond, VA, 10/10/91)

72. Lulah Lavery was home with her daughter at their Richford, Vermont, home when they heard the sounds of a forced entry. As her daughter phoned police, Lavery loaded a shotgun and went to investigate. Finding a man reaching through a broken backdoor window, Lavery fired a single blast. The man fled, but a wounded suspect was quickly apprehended. (The Messenger, St. Albans, VT, 10/11/91)

March, 1992

73. Thomas Terry of Anniston, Alabama, was eating in a local restaurant late one evening when several armed men came in and announced a robbery. As the robbers tried to herd everyone into a walk-in cooler, Terry tried to escape through a locked door but alerted the crooks to his presence. When one approached the table where he was hiding, Terry pulled his .45, killed that man in an exchange of shots and wounded his accomplice. A third criminal fled. (The Star, Anniston, AL, 12/18/91)

74. Alerted when she saw a strange car drive up and the occupants knock on the door, a 19-year-old woman got a rifle and hid in a bedroom closet. When the men broke through a cellar door and entered the bedroom, she stepped out of the closet, trained the gun on them and ordered them out. They fled. (The Lawrence County Advocate, Lawrence, TN, 12/18/91)

75. Listening in on a police radio, Ron Sisk heard a police chase proceed through his community of Cottonwood, Arizona. When the suspect's stolen truck crashed into a car Sisk was following and he began to run, Sisk grabbed his gun and held the man for police. The fugitive was wanted on felony charges ranging from armed robbery to attempted murder committed during a week-long, two-state spree. (The Journal Extra, Cottonwood, AZ, 12/05/91)

76. Dennis Brown of Atlanta, Georgia, -- featured in the January 1991 "Armed Citizen" -- recently killed a second thug at the Atlanta, Georgia hotel where he works. Brown and a co-worker went to investigate an activated car alarm in the parking lot and brought a suspect back into the office. When he pulled a pistol and opened fire, both hotel employees returned the favor with their own guns, kill the gunman. (The Journal-Constitution, Atlanta, GA, 11/03/91)

77. Describing her attacker as a man who had once been "one of the family," Juliette Blackmon, 81, of Kansas City, Missouri, was forced to take action when he tried to rob them. After asking to use the bathroom, the man instead grabbed a knife from the kitchen and threatened her and her husband, Elliot. Elliot picked up a pistol from the bedroom, however, and passed it to his wife. Firing twice, she killed the man. "I had to do it," she said. "I'm a Christian woman, but we have to have protection." (The Star, Kansas City, MO, 10/24/91)

78. His store burglarized twice in a week, Denis Picard of Lewiston, Maine, was on hand for the third attempt. When he heard the door to the business being broken down, Picard got a shotgun and investigated. Finding a man pawing through a gun case, Picard ordered him to stop. When the intruder instead started to advance, Picard helped him make up his mind with a warning blast, then held him for police. (The Sun-Journal, Lewiston, ME, 10/09/91)

79. After watching two men kicking open the door to her home in a burglary attempt, a Kingwood, Texas, woman picked up a pistol and fired several shots, scaring them off. Police and local residents then conducted a manhunt to capture the pair, who police suspect in numerous other "kick" burglaries in the area. (The Echo, Houston, TX, 10/23/91)

80. Sweeping the walk in front of his Norristown, Pennsylvania, restaurant, Long Som heard his 10-year-old daughter screaming. Som pulled a pistol, for which he has a permit, and ran to where she had been loading boxes in the car, to find a man trying to carry her away. Deciding Som was serious after the businessman fired several shots in the air, the attacker dropped the girl and ran away. (The Times Herald, Norristown, PA, 12/16/91)

81. Delwin Smith was ready when two armed teenagers went on a crime spree which left one Houston, Alaska, resident wounded. After eluding the police, the teens broke into a home and struggled with the owner but fled into the woods after a shotgun one was carrying went off and wounded the man. Smith, knowing their location from bulletins on his police radio, was waiting when they emerged from the brush and held them at shotgun point until police arrived. (The Daily News, Anchorage, AK, 12/14/91)

82. After their son received several death threats, an Everett, Washington, couple arranged for an armed neighbor to be at their home when the boy arrived from school. When the man -- a suspect in several sexual assaults on children -- broke into the home, the neighbor struggled with and shot him. The intruder fled, but was later apprehended by police. (The Herald, Everett, WA, 12/19/91)

83. Citizens of Ivor, Virginia, turned out in force when two men robbed the local bank. After their car crashed while fleeing from police, the duo fled into a wooded area. Local residents immediately armed themselves and, along with police, surrounded the woods. The pair surrendered to a volunteer and an officer the next morning. Said one local resident, "Here, the feeling is 'Hey, you've got my money.'" (The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk, VA, 10/20/91)

84. Two handgun-toting teenagers probably got the shocks of their lives when they attempted to rob a gas station in Richmond, Indiana -- the clerk pulled his own gun and shot at them. Patrick Harding gave the duo money from the cash register, but when one of the youths threatened to shoot him, Harding pulled his own pistol and fired a single shot, which sent them running. (The Palladium-Item, Richmond, IN, 11/21/91)

April, 1992

85. A Birmingham, Alabama pharmacist was behind the counter of his store when a man brought an item to the counter and, instead of paying, began rifling the cash drawer. Told to stop, the robber instead threatened the druggist and acted as if he had a concealed weapon. The man received a mortal wound when the pharmacist fired his own gun. (The Post-Herald, Birmingham, AL, 01/09/92)

86. Asleep at home one morning, Rev. Joel Yarber, a Baptist minister in Memphis, Tennessee, awoke to someone knocking on the door and then heard sounds inside the house. Picking up a pistol and investigating, Yarber found a man attempting to steal a VCR. When threatened with a tire iron, Yarber fired four shots, mortally wounding the intruder. Police said the man entered the home by kicking in a door, and got there in a stolen car. (The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN, 02/07/92)

87. Arriving at their Vallejo, California, check-cashing store, Charles Davenport and his wife were confronted by a handgun-wielding man who ordered them into the store. Davenport grabbed his own gun from his car and drove the man off in an exchange of shots. An apparent accomplice also fired, but fled when Davenport fired at him. Police apprehended three suspects a short time later. (The Times-Herald, Vallejo, CA, 12/24/91)

88. The only thing between her children and the man breaking into her home was a shotgun, and a Flint, Michigan, woman took full advantage of the fact that she was armed. As the intruder broke through the door, the woman hid her two children under a table, knelt in front of it, and when he entered the room, fired several blasts from the pump gun. The wounded prison parolee fled, but police apprehended him by following a trail of blood. (The Journal, Flint MI, 01/10/92)

89. Herman Moser's World War II Navy marksmanship training came in handy when a man tried to rob his jewelry store in the Chinatown section of New York City. Moser, 71, was at the shop with his grandson and another man when the armed robber entered. When the robber ordered them into the shop's bathroom, Moser, fearing for their lives, pulled his licensed handgun, fired and killed the man. "It still came to me, the steady, where to aim," Moser said. (The Times, New York, NY, 01/07/92)

90. Even though ill and wearing an oxygen mask, a homebreaker found that 74-year-old Lena Mae Pate of Oroville, California, was no pushover. When the man broke into her home and, despite warnings, continued to advance, Pate fired at him with her .38 revolver, putting him to flight. A wounded suspect -- who had once worked for Pate -- was arrested after seeking treatment. (The Bee, Sacramento, CA, 01/04/92)

91. Even though the three robbers who entered their St. Petersburg, Florida, pawnshop were holding them at gunpoint, David and Elizabeth Anderson were able to turn the situation around and come out on top. When Elizabeth and one of the thugs started to struggle and his gun went off, David pulled his own pistol and shot one robber, killing him, and with his wife held the other two for police, who said the three were apparently trying to steal guns. (The Times, St. Petersburg, FL, 01/18/92)

92. Linda Patterson was walking to her car in the parking lot of a Searcy, Arkansas, store a few days before Christmas when she saw a man holding a knife on a woman. Patterson pulled a revolver from her purse and yelled, "You had better think twice about what you are doing!" Seeing that she was armed, the would-be kidnapper fled. (The White River Journal, Des Arc, AR, 01/02/92)

93. A would-be robber got a lesson in superior armament when he tried to rob the San Diego, California, liquor store where Majid Kachi works. When the man walked in a threatened him with a large knife, Kachi caught his arm with one hand and pulled a revolver from under the counter with the other, prompting the man to turn tail and run. "Mr. Kachi would have been quite legally justified in shooting the man who was threatening him and his business," a police spokesman said. (The Union, San Diego, CA, 11/17/91)

94. Only 11, a Talkeetna, Alaska, girl called on the firearms training her mother had given her when someone broke into her home early one morning. When she heard movement outside, then inside, the house, the girl got a shotgun and yelled, "I've got a loaded shotgun and if you don't get out of here right now, I'm going to blow your head off!" The intruder took the non-too-subtle hint and fled. (The Times, Anchorage, AK, 01/15/92)

95. Faced with greater odds and superior firepower, Atlanta, Georgia, grocer Nam Hoon Kim made his shots count when the four men who had just taken money from his store and held his wife at gunpoint started shooting. Kim grabbed his own gun and, in the exchange, killed one of his assailants and put the others to flight. Kim was not charged by police, and neither he not his wife were injured. (The Constitution, Atlanta, GA, 11/27/91)

96. Mary Lee and Samuel Carleton had just pulled up to their Terrytown, Louisiana, home when a man pointed a gun at Sam and demanded money. What the robber didn't know is that Mary Lee is a security guard and retired police officer. She fired a single shot from her own pistol, putting the crook and an accomplice to flight. (The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, LA, 02/05/92)

May, 1992

97. John Parker was alone in his Racine, Wis., tavern one evening when a pair of youthful gang members armed with sawed-off shotguns burst through the door. Parker grabbed a .357 Mag. from under the counter and, as one of the thugs fired a blast at him, unleashed four shots. Parker received a slight hand wound, but killed both of his assailants. Police said both youths had long police records, and the district attorney ruled that Parker acted in self-defense. (The Journal Times, Racine, Wis., 01/15/92)

98. Fed up with repeated burglaries at the grocery store where he works as a clerk, Phil Holznagel of Spokane, Wash., decided to mount his own stake out. His plan paid off early one morning when two men broke into the store. Holznagel corralled one of the men in the store and held him at gun point for police. (Spokesman-Review and Chronicle, Spokane, Wash., 03/0l/92)

99. His shadow proved to be the undoing for a St. Paul, Minn., house breaker. Asleep on the sofa, Bob McQuiston awakened to what he thought was one of his children upstairs. "I usually spot their little shadows when I'm downstairs...but this shadow just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger," he said. McQuiston called police, grabbed his double-barrel shotgun and held the intruder for police. (The Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn., 03/01/92)

100. Robert Smith missed both, part of the Super bowl and being run down, but he did capture a man who attempted to burglarize his neighbor's truck. Smith grabbed his .38 and went to intervene when he noticed the man in the truck. When the criminal's accomplice tried to run him down, Smith fired two shots, causing the car to veer up over a curb and into a house. The driver fled, and Smith held the failed thief for police. (The Daily Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, Okla., 01/28/92)

101. BBs are no match for bullets, a young hoodlum found out when he attempted to rob a Brooklyn grocery store with a BB gun. When the youth entered the store brandishing the gun, the owner fired several shots with his licensed 9 mm, killing the thug. The store owner was not charged. (The Daily News, New York, N.Y., 03/11/92)

102. Hearing noises outside her Mission, Tex., home, 65-year- old Celia Munoz found a pair of house-breakers at work. They beat her, but she managed to break away and retrieved a .22 rifle. When one criminal lunged at her, she put them to flight with a single shot. Police later arrested two suspects, one with a hand wound. "I am never gonna be without a gun," she said. "If anybody is kicking my door down, you better watch out." (The Valley Morning Star, Harlingen, Tex., 03/14/92)

103. A clerk working the graveyard shift alone at a Wilco, Va., service station unlocked the door to let in what appeared to be a customer. Once inside, however, the "customer" pulled a lug wrench from under his coat and demanded money. The clerk responded by pulling a .32 automatic, which convinced the would- be robber to flee. ( The News & Advance, Lynchburg, Va., 01/20/92)

104. Charles O'Brien started spending nights in his Plano, Tex., store after a November burglary. Awakened one evening by the sounds of breaking glass next door, O'Brien picked up a pistol, investigated and found two juveniles holding bags. A 10- year-old ran off, but O'Brien held the 16-year-old for police, who found the boy was armed with a pistol taken in the earlier entry. (The Star Courier, Plano, Tex., 01/09/92)

105. A dentist by trade, Fred Sickles recently branched out by capturing two men who attempted to burglarize his home. Sickles was eating breakfast with his wife when the men started pounding on the doors. "We had a good idea why they were here, so we just sat quietly and waited, "Sickles said. Scared off by an alarm after they broke down the back door, the men found Sickles waiting for them at their car with a loaded shotgun. He fired a warning blast and held the pair for police. (The Times, Kenton, Ohio, 02/24/92)

106. Ernie Smith was watching television in his Eugene, Oreg., home when he heard loud noises coming from his store next door. Looking through a peephole, Smith saw a man drop through a hole in the ceiling. Smith grabbed his shotgun, ran into the store and held the burglar for police. "Hey, I got to defend my wife and the house," Smith said. "And a loaded 12-ga. talks." (The Register-Guard, Eugene, Oreg., 01/14/92)

107. An early-morning burglary attempt proved to be fatal when, instead of loot, the culprit found an armed homeowner. Mary Berry was awake because of an earlier burglary at her Louisville, Ky., home, and when she heard sounds of another forced entry, she called police. She was still on the phone when the man entered the kitchen, and Berry mortally wounded him with a single blast from her shotgun. (The Courier Journal, Louisville, Ky., 03/07/92)

108. Hugh Davitt of Scranton, Pa., stopped his car to talk to a group of teenagers after they snow balled his car. Instead of talking, the youths began to beat Davitt. After one of them sprayed him with Mace, David pulled his registered pistol and fired a single shot, wounding one of his assailants and stopping the attack. Authorities later said Davitt acted in self-defense and would not be charged. (The Tribute, Scranton, Pa., 03/10/92)

109. Wearing a mask and armed with a sawed-off shotgun, a man bent on robbery entered Reid's Mart in Hubert, N.C., just as owner Steve Reid was closing for the night. Reid at first thought it was a joke, but when it became evident that the gunman meant business, Reid pulled his 9 mm from his back pocket and fired a single shot, striking the crook in the chest, killing him. (The Daily News, Jacksonville, N.C., 03/25/92)

110. Odell Smith, Jr., a Birmingham, Ala., cabbie, picked up two men who turned out to be armed robbers. When the man in the back seat held a gun to his head and demanded money, Smith grabbed his .38, spun in the driver's seat and fired three shots, killing the gunman and then wounding his accomplice. (The News, Birmingham, Ala., 04/10/92)

111. Napping in her rural Mission, Tex., home with her two children, Vanessa Cooper heard a car pull up, and, looking out the window, saw an unfamiliar car in the driveway. Fearing for the safety of her children, Cooper picked up a pistol and went to investigate. She found a man in the living room, and when he ignored her questions on why he was there and lunged at her, Cooper fired, killing the intruder. (The Valley Morning Star, Harlingen, Tex., 03/13/92)

112. When his stepfather began beating a 16-year-old Kalispell, Mont., youth's mother, the boy ordered him to stop. When the man -- who had a history of alcohol-induced violence against the family -- continued his attack, the teen got a rifle and shot and killed the man. "The boy clearly was justifiably concerned about the welfare of his mother and younger brother and sister when he shot," said the county attorney. (The Daily InterLake, Kalispell, Mont., 02/21/92)

113. Six burglaries in one week were enough for Todd Bridges, the manager of several Wichita, Kans., muffler shops. Armed with his AR-15, his late-night stakeout was rewarded when a man forced his way into the shop Bridges was guarding. Bridges ordered the man to halt, but when the burglar began running toward the back of the shop, fired three shots, hitting him once, "I didn't want him to get back there and start taking shots at me," said Bridges. (The Eagle, Wichita, Kans., 03/27/92)

114. David Shanley was content to let the two men who had taken money from the register of his liquor store flee until one pulled a gun and threatened to kill him. When that happened, Shanley, a former New York City police officer, drew his own gun and opened fire, wounding both robbers. Both fled but were apprehended by police while seeking medical treatment for their wounds. (The Newsday, Long Island, N.Y., 04/10/92)

115. Ron Simpson carries a gun on the job as a midnight-shift service station attendant in Aurora, Ill. He needed it recently- for a third time in 18 months-when a man walked in, pretended to have a gun and demanded money from the register. When the robber dropped his guard, Simpson pulled his 9 mm pistol and held him for police. "The gun's not there to protect the store; it's purely to protect me," Simpson said. (The Beacon, Aurora, Ill., 04/23/92)

116. Covering the rioting in Atlanta, Ga., that followed the Rodney King jury verdict in Los Angeles, a TV-news team found themselves the targets of the mob. They were rescued when Garnett Sumpter, the husband of one of their coworkers, happened onto the scene. Drawing his licensed pistol, Sumpter convinced the mob to go elsewhere. (The Journal-Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., 05/5/92)

June, 1992

117. Vincent McCarthy wasn't afraid to lend a hand when he noticed a police officer struggling with a couple at the side of the road. He tried to help subdue the man, who was kicking the officer in the face. Despite McCarthy's warnings, when the man pressed his assault, the tour boat captain shot him once in the leg with a .25 automatic he is licensed to carry and stopped the attack. Neither the officer nor McCarthy were seriously injured in the fracas. (The Daily Commercial, Leesburg, Fla., 4/10/92)

118. T.J. Namen credits his insomnia with helping him nab two teens who were breaking into cars in the parking lot of the Anchorage, Alaska, apartment building he manages. Getting a .22 and sneaking outside after noticing the two, Namen waited until he heard breaking glass, then jumped up, announced that he was armed and held the pair for police. (The Daily News, Anchorage, Alaska, 3/31/92)

119. Jack Arnold, 81, thought he had escaped the gang violence of his North Richmond, Calif., home, when he moved into his motor home and parked it outside of the city. He was apparently the target of random violence, however, when a man carrying a knife burst through the door one evening. After being threatened, struck and shoved around, Arnold grabbed a 12-ga. and killed the intruder with a single blast. (The Daily Ledger/Post Dispatch, Pittsburg, Calif., 3/5/92)

120. Peter DelFranco, owner of a Bridgeport, Conn., pizza shop, ordered a man out of the store after he tried to get change for a roll of "dimes" actually containing pennies. Instead of leaving, the man stepped behind the counter, feigned having a gun and started taking money from the cash register. DelFranco fired a single shot from his pistol, putting the man to flight. A wounded suspect was found nearby. (The Post, Bridgeport, Conn., 1/15/92)

121. A would-be armed robber found it never pays to bring a knife to a gunfight when he vaulted a counter of Walter Krasowski's Chicago coin shop and slashed him with a butcher's knife. Krasowski pulled a .45 revolver, fired and wounded his assailant twice. The man fled, with Krasowski in pursuit. Police found the man lying in the street, with Krasowski holding him at gunpoint. (The Daily Southtown Economist, Chicago, Ill., 3/20/92)

122. Mike Court was finishing his day's work by making a bank run for the Tampa, Fla., store where he works. As he prepared to make the deposit, a robber stepped up and demanded the money. Instead, Court pulled his own .380 and, after a short discussion, the two began to shoot it out. The exchange ended when Court wounded the criminal. "If I'd given him the money, who's to say he wouldn't have shot me anyway," Court pondered. (The Times, St. Petersburg, Fla., 2/20/92)

123. Apparently intent on burglary, two hoods cut the phone lines to Floris Gold's Cape Ferrelo, Oreg., home. They were busy forcing their way into the basement when confronted by the 72-year-old-homeowner, fleeing when they noticed she was carrying a shotgun. One fired a shot as he was running--missing Gold--which earned him a charge of attempted murder when police caught up with him and his accomplice a short time later. (The Curry Costal Pilot, Brookings, Oreg., 2/12/92)

124. Increased crime prompted Angelo Accurso to get a permit to keep a gun in his Buffalo, N.Y., market. He put it to good use when a man walked in one morning and began to beat him with a piece of pipe. Although seriously injured, Accurso managed to pull his pistol and loosed several shots. Severely wounded, Accurso's attacker staggered from the store and collapsed on the street. (The News, Buffalo, N.Y., 4/3/92)

125. After entering through an unlocked back door of an Alcolu, S.C., woman's home, the man put an extension cord around the woman's neck and told her not to scream. Thinking quickly, the woman fell to the floor and grabbed a rifle kept under the couch, prompting her attacker to flee. (The Item, Sumter, S.C., 2/8/92)

126. Even though Pizza Hut has a policy against drivers carrying firearms, a Pensacola, Fla., delivery man decided his own safety was more important than company policy and took his pistol with him. He needed it one evening when three criminals tried to rob him. Making the delivery, the man decided he didn't like what he saw. Telling the trio he was getting their drinks, he instead got his 9 mm. When one of the group yelled "Die!" and fired a shot, the delivery man ducked behind his car and returned fire, driving them away. A company official later said the man would keep his job. (The News Journal, Pensacola, Fla., 1/29/92)

127. James Summey of Lincolnton, N.C., got the drop on two men who had broken into his son's home and was holding them at gunpoint while his wife phoned police. He almost made a fatal mistake, however, when he agreed to let one of the housebreakers get a cigarette. Instead of tobacco, the man came up with a .25 auto and fired several shots at Summey; all missed. Summey returned fire with his .44 Mag., prompting the gunman to cease hostilities and wait quietly for police. His accomplice fled, but turned himself into soon after. "If Mr. Summey had wanted to harm one of them, he could have really done it," a detective later said. (The Lincoln Times-News, Lincolnton, N.C., 2/19/92)

July, 1992

128. David Shanley was content to let the two men who taken money from the register of his liquor store flee until one pulled a gun and threatened to kill him. When that happened, Shanley, a former New York City police officer, drew his own gun and opened fire, wounding both robbers. Both fled but were apprehended by police while seeking medical treatment for their wounds. (Newsday, Long Island, N.Y., 4/10/92)

129. When his stepfather began beating a 16-year-old Kalispell, Mont., youth's mother, the boy ordered him to stop. When the man--who had a history of alcohol-induced attacks against the family--continued his attack, the teen got a rifle and shot the man once, killing him. "The boy clearly was justifiably concerned about the welfare of his mother and younger brother and sister when he shot," said the county attorney. "I am convinced he prevented serious injury or deaths with what he did." (The Daily Inter Lake, Kalispell, Mont., 2/21/92)

130. Six burglaries in one week were enough for Todd Bridges, the manager of several Wichita, Kans., muffler shops. Armed with his AR-15, he found his late-night stakeout rewarded when a man broke into the shop early one morning. Bridges ordered the man to halt, but when the burglar began running towards some storage racks at the back of the shop, fired three shots, hitting him once. "I didn't want him to get back there and start taking shots at me," said Bridges. (The Eagle, Wichita, Kans., 3/27/92)

131. Wearing a mask and armed with a sawed-off shotgun, a man bent on robbery entered Reid's Mart in Hubert, N.C., just as owner Steve Reid was closing for the night. Reid at first thought it was a joke, but when it became evident that the gunman meant business, Reid pulled his 9 mm from his back pocket and fired a single shot, striking the crook in the chest, killing him. (The Daily News, Jacksonville, N.C., 3/25/92)

132. Answering a knock at the door early one morning, Leon Peterson of Cottonwood Heights, Utah, found no one there. When the knocking continued on another door to the home, Peterson got his pistol. When he opened the door, several teenagers crashed in, one swinging a baseball bat. After issuing several warnings, Peterson unleashed several shots, killing the bat-wielding intruder. Police said Peterson was justified in shooting the intruder and arrested several suspects, including Peterson's estranged wife, alleging she hired the youths to burglarize the home and retrieve the couple's daughter. (The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, 4/15/92)

133. Napping in her rural Mission, Tex., home with her two children, Vanessa Cooper heard a car pull up, and, looking out the window, saw an unfamiliar car in the driveway. Fearing for the safety of her children, Cooper picked up a pistol and went to investigate. She found a man in the living room, and when he ignored her questions on why he was there and lunged at her, Cooper fired, killing the intruder. (The Valley Morning Star, Harlingen, Tex., 3/13/92)

134. Faced with a semi-auto held by a man demanding money, the clerk of a Terrytown, La., convenience store handed over the money from the cash register, but then pulled a .357 Mag. revolver and fired three times, killing the would-be robber. Police anticipated no charges against the clerk, saying "(he) was definitely in fear of his life." (The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, La., 2/6/92)

135. Covering the rioting in Atlanta, Ga., that followed the Rodney King jury verdict in Los Angeles, a TV-news team found themselves the targets of the mob. They were rescued, however, when Garnett Sumpter, the husband of one of their coworkers, happened onto the scene. Drawing his licensed pistol, Sumpter convinced the mob to go elsewhere. (The Journal-Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., 5/5/92)

136. Out jogging one morning, a Silver Spring, Md., woman was grabbed from behind and wrestled to a secluded spot. Once there, a teenager tried to rape the woman, but she fought back and managed to escape when her assailant slipped and fell. The woman flagged a ride home and told her husband, who grabbed a gun and jumped into his car. The man spotted the would-be-rapist near the assault scene and held him for police. (The Montgomery Journal, Rockville, Md., 5/13/92)

137. Odell Smith, Jr., a Birmingham, Ala., cabbie, picked up two men who turned out to be armed robbers. When the man in the back seat held a gun to his head and demanded money, Smith instead grabbed his .38, spun in the driver's seat and fired three shots. All three connected, killing the gunman. Smith then shot and wounded the gunman's accomplice. "What I did was in self-defense," Smith said. (The News, Birmingham, Ala., 4/10/92)

138. Ron Simpson carries a gun on the job as a midnight-shift service station attendant in Aurora, Ill. He needed it recently--the third time in 18 months--when a man walked in, pretended to have a gun and demanded money from the register. When the robber dropped his guard, however, Simpson pulled his 9 mm pistol and held him for police. "The gun's not there to protect the store; it's purely to protect me," Simpson said. (The Beacon, Aurora, Ill., 4/23/92)

139. Wallace Miller's wife roused him early one morning when she heard someone talking inside their Cross Lanes, W. Va., home. Getting a pistol and investigating, Miller found an armed man standing in the kitchen. Miller first fired a warning shot, but when the intruder fired a blast from the shotgun he was carrying, Miller shot the man and drove him from the home. A wounded suspect later checked into a local hospital. (The Daily Mail, Charleston, W. Va., 2/25/92)

August, 1992

140. Witnessing two women being repeatedly stabbed in front of his bicycle shop in Baltimore, Md., Sandy Mandel grabbed his licensed .45 and went to intervene. He chased the knife-wielding assailant for a block, but when the attacker turned and raised his knife, Mandel fired a single shot, wounding him. (The Sun, Baltimore, Md., 5/15/92)

141. After finding money missing from her Kennewick, Wash., tavern, Carol Mae Hodgins decided to start spending the nights in the business. Alerted when the phone began to ring early one morning, Hodgins and a friend--both armed with .357s--were ready when a former employee drove up and used a key to open the door. When he took money from several games in the bar, Hodgins--a former security guard--used her gun and a drop kick to hold him for police. (The Tri-Cities Herald, Kennewick, Wash., 4/11/92)

142. His wife awakened by the sound of breaking glass outside their Arlington, Tex., apartment, NRA member Jim Newton grabbed his AR-15. Outside he found two men trying to steal his wife's car. Newton returned fire when one man shot at him, killing the gunman and putting his accomplice to flight. "It appears that he was definitely in fear of his life and that he fired in self-defense," a police detective said. A handgun found near the dead man had been fired twice, police said. (The Star-Telegram, Ft. Worth, Tex., 5/14/92)

143. Stalking his former girlfriend was a fatal mistake for a Memphis, Tenn., man after he kicked his way into her home for a second time in eight months. Not finding the woman at home, the he stabbed her mother and Donzale Shelby, a family friend, with a kitchen knife. Although wounded, Shelby grabbed a gun and shot his attacker once in the chest, mortally wounding him. (The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn., 5/30/92)

144. A convicted felon with a long police record pushed his luck too far when he attempted to rob the Charleston, S.C., area nightclub managed by Paul Thomas. Thomas and a female employee were locking up for the night when the armed robber grabbed the woman, held a gun to her head and forced them back inside. Playing for time, Thomas feigned a breathing problem, and when the gunman lowered his gun, Thomas whipped out a pistol and fired several shots, killing the man. (The Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C., 4/14/92)

145. Delivering pizzas in Syracuse, N.Y., early one morning, John MacDonald was accosted by two men who tried to steal the pies. MacDonald tried to keep hold of the pizza bag, but when one of the pair attacked him with a broomhandle, MacDonald let go of the bag and drew his pistol. One man fled with the pizzas, but MacDonald gave the other a ride to the police station in his delivery car. He is licensed to carry, police said. (The Herald American, Syracuse, N.Y., 4/19/92)

146. Araina Thompson, beaten repeatedly by her former boyfriend, knew a court order would not keep her safe when he was released from jail, so she took the precaution of buying a pistol. When he showed up at her Bensalem, Pa., apartment--violating the court order for the third time--and began to beat her, Thompson got her pistol and fired, killing the man. (The Trentonian, Trenton, N.J., 4/25/92)

147. Victimized by two previous burglaries at his Newport News, Va., home, Jonas Norris evened the score when the man returned for a third try. After entering the home via a window, the burglar's movements woke Norris, who fired several shots at him. The man fled, but a wounded suspect was apprehended while seeking medical treatment. (The Daily Press, Newport News, Va., 4/23/92)

148. Hearing screams near their Maple Rapids, Mich., home, Louis and Cindy Ward investigated and found a large dog attacking an 11-year-old neighbor. As Cindy calmed the girl and distracted the dog into ceasing its attack, Louis grabbed a shotgun. Hoping to draw the animal away, Louis picked up a stick and threw it, but when the dog came after him, Ward shot and killed it. Police credited Ward's actions with saving the girl's life. (The State Journal, Lansing, Mich., 4/19/92)

149. Driving to work, Macon, Ga., resident Joe Moody saw a couple who manage a local grocery being robbed by three armed, masked men. He paused nearby to tell a security guard to call police, then, with his .44 Mag., returned to the store. Gun in hand, he hopped out of his truck and ordered the trio of thugs to scram. They took the hint and fled. Police later arrested several suspects, all convicted felons. (The Telegraph, Macon, Ga., 4/21/92)

150. Mark Rigas was in his Waldoboro, Maine, pizza shop one evening when a man walked in, waved a gun around and demanded money. Instead of complying, Rigas pulled his own gun--which he keeps in the shop for just such an occasion--and called police. The would-be robber fled while Rigas was on the phone, but a suspect was soon arrested. "I work took hard for my money to let some guy rob me," said Rigas. (The Courier-Gazette, Rockland, Maine, 4/23/92)

151. Believing the burglars who took more than $20,000 in tools and motorcycles from his motorcycle shop in Jeffersonville, Ky., would return, Jim Beatty armed himself with a shotgun and waited. When two men broke in, Beatty forced them from the shop with several blasts. "They're greedy," said Beatty. "That's the worst kind of criminal." (The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky., 3/17/92)

September, 1992

152. David Plasters, a city councilman in Greeley, Colo., picked up his 9 mm and went to investigate when he heard noises at the rear of his home at 2:30 a.m. In the kitchen Plasters found a man entering through a window. Plasters ordered him to freeze, but the intruder ran through the house and out another window and escaped. (The Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Colo., 6/17/92)

153. Two burglars casing a Wichita, Kans., residential area made the wrong choice when they broke into a home occupied by a woman and her great-grandmother. The two fled the house and went to a neighbor's home. The neighbor grabbed his .357, interrupted the burglary and ordered the pair to surrender. They instead jumped in their car and fled as the neighbor fired six shots at them. Responding police soon arrested one suspect and recovered a large cache of stolen property. (The Eagle, Wichita, Kans., 5/14/92)

154. Kouman Lee was behind the counter of his Fontana, Calif., store when an armed robber came in and demanded money. As the man took money from the register, Lee, the victim of several previous robberies, was able to reach a gun kept behind the counter and fired, hitting the robber. The wounded criminal fled, but was found at a local hospital. (The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Ontario, Calif., 5/27/92)

155. Noticing his girlfriend's garage in disarray, Lithonia, Ga., resident Orlando Sheppard got a pistol out of his truck. When he walked inside the house, he found two men there, one armed with a handgun. Both Sheppard and the intruder fired; the gunman--owner of several felony raps--was mortally wounded, Sheppard, his girlfriend and her son escaped uninjured. The accomplice escaped. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 6/10/92)

156. Hearing glass breaking in his 75-year-old neighbor's backyard, Leonard Carralero, Jr., of Miami, Fla., got his shotgun, investigated and found an intruder attempting to break into the woman's house. The stranger sprinted away, but Carralero caught up with him on the front yard. Carralero, thinking the man was reaching for what appeared to be a gun under his clothes, fired a single blast and mortally wounded the would-be burglar. Police said the dead man had a police record and history of mental illness. (The Herald, Miami, Fla., 4/18/92)

157. Answering the phone at 3 a.m., Bill Gross of Phoenix, Ariz., heard his next-door neighbor on the line, telling him someone was breaking into her apartment. Gross armed himself with a semi-auto, went outside and found a man trying to open the woman's front window. Gross ordered him to stop, but when the man turned and charged, he fired a shot which wounded the intruder. Police said wounded man would be charged after being released from the hospital. (The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, Ariz., 4/30/92)

158. Stopped for a red light, Laura Huntington of Woodstock, Ga., suddenly found herself with an extra passenger in the car--a man holding a razor to her throat. Following his directions, Huntington stopped the car on command, and seizing the moment, pulled her revolver. Her assailant wisely decided to flee. "I had already made up my mind I was going to use it," she said. (The Daily Journal, Marietta, Ga., 6/4/92)

159. Pensacola, Fla., area resident Jack Taylor was helping a friend fix his car when the pair was attacked by a man wielding a tree limb. Struck from behind, Taylor, a former deputy sheriff, pulled a pistol from his back pocket and shot at his attacker. The man and an accomplice fled, but a wounded suspect and a juvenile were later caught. (The News Journal, Pensacola, Fla., 6/12/92)

160. Walking through the woods in a state park in Wenatchee, Wash., Michael Vanney was horrified to see a cougar pounce on his five-year-old daughter Jessica. Armed only with a hunting knife, Vanney yelled for his wife to bring a handgun, then jumped on the cat, knocking it off the girl. When his wife arrived with the gun, Vanney fired two shots, treeing the cat, which was later captured and held in quarantine. Jessica suffered only minor s****es in the attack, according to an Associated Press report. (The Tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah, 6/24/92)

161. A vow of vengeance led only to a gunshot wound for a Houston, Tex., man after he stalked a female former coworker for six months. The woman, who had filed several complaints with police, was in a grocery store parking lot when the stalker jumped into her car and tried to abduct her. When he did, the woman pulled a gun and fired, wounding him twice. (The Post, Houston, Tex., 6/3/92)

162. Gary Edge of Woodruff, S.C., tucked a pistol in the waistband of his pants when a smalltime criminal fleeing from police started pounding on the door to his home, demanding to use the phone. When Edge opened the door slightly to hand out a portable phone, the man forced his way inside and began to threaten Edge with a metal bar. Knocked off balance, Edge managed to pull his gun and fire, mortally wounding his assailant. (The Herald-Journal, Spartanburg, S.C., 5/11/92)

163. Beth Smith of Hartselle, Ala., grabbed her pistol when her grandmother burst into the house, saying two men had invaded her home next door. In pursuit of the fleeing pair, Smith fired a warning shot, prompting one to drop to the gound. Smith held him for police. (The News Journal, Pensacola, Fla., 6/11/92)

October, 1992

164. Asleep in the apartment above his Brooklyn, N.Y., auto shop, Ezekial Witherspoon grabbed his licensed 9 mm when he heard the sounds of forced entry in the business. In the confrontation that followed, Witherspoon shot and mortally wounded an intruder who had gained entry to the shop by smashing a window. Police didn't charge Witherspoon, saying the shooting appeared justified. (Newsday, New York, N.Y., 7/15/92)

165. John Gibbs, a Jacksonville, Fla., volunteer reserve police officer, was using a car wash early one morning when a car with three men in it drove up and stopped nearby. When one of the occupants jumped out and pulled a gun, Gibbs countered with his own gun. In the short fight that ensued, Gibbs escaped harm while mortally wounding his assailant. The accomplices fled. Police said Gibbs apparently acted properly in shooting the man. (The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla., 7/20/92)

166. James Eldridge heard glass shattering and looked out his house window to see two men in his carry-out store lot. When one got a pillow case out of a car and the pair started for the store's front door, Eldridge got his shotgun and confronted them. One would-be burglar fled, but the store owner held the other until police came. (The News-Sun, Springfield, Ohio, 7/13/92)

167. Timothy Riley, a resident of Green, Ohio, is very popular with his neighbor. Hearing glass breaking next door, Riley armed himself with a shotgun and confronted two housebreakers. The pair ran back inside, but surrendered when Riley ordered them out. Riley held them at gunpoint for police. "When those burglars saw the barrel of my shotgun, they laid down on the ground and got real peaceful." (The Beacon Journal, Akron, Ohio, 6/9/92)

168. An armed robber had successfully hit Kep Van Dang's Pensacola, Fla., twice in a week, but pressed his luck too far when he tried a third time. Dang got a pistol after the second robbery, in which the criminal threatened to come back. When the robber returned and pointed a gun at Dang and a clerk, the storekeeper pulled his new .38 and fired several shots, halting the robbery and driving the man from the store. Police, found a wounded suspect several blocks away, said Dang would not be charged. "We're going to keep that gun, it's our protection," said Dang through an interpreter. (The News-Journal, Pensacola, Fla., 7/5/92)

169. Shoved aside by a strongarm thief who vaulted the counter and began looting the till, the clerk of a Bristol, Pa., convenience store simply pulled his licensed revolver and fired a single shot. The blast had the desired effect, driving the man from the store. (The Times, Trenton, N.J., 7/28/92)

170. Watching a house for a friend, Arthur and Annie Brown of Greenville, S.C., were ready when they found a trio of teenagers while checking the home. Noticing items out of place when they entered, the Browns had their pistols ready when they confronted the intruders, Mrs. Brown, 73, fired a warning shot from her gun, and together with her husband held the three for police. "We both got our pistols because of previous break-ins," she told police. (The Piedomont, Greenville, S.C., 6/11/92)

171. Feeling uneasy about her only customer, a lone Palmdale, Calif., store clerk put herself with easy reach of the revolver she keeps in the store for protection. When the man exposed himself and threatened to rape her. The clerk responded by firing a single shot from her .357 Mag., prompting the criminal to flee the store. (The Antelope Valley Press, Palmdale, Calif., 7/10/92)

172. The owner of a lunch truck gave the burglar a chance to leave, but when the thief wouldn't comply, the Elizabeth, N.J. truck owner retrieved a shotgun, only to be confronted by the intruder carrying machete. After a warning shot had no effect, the truck owner fired a blast that put the man to flight. Police arrested a wounded suspect two blocks away. (The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J., 6/5/92)

173. A would-be robber paid with his life when he tried the ultimate in stupid stunts--robbing a gun store at knife point. Edward Sarhan was working in the Miami, Fla., area shop when the man entered and demanded money. As employee Tony Milan wrestled with the knife-wielding assailant, Sarhan drew his .38 revolver and shot the man three times, killing him. (The Herald, Miami, Fla., 6/9/92)

174. Two self-described "feisty" senior citizens were more than a match for an armed intruder who entered their Ambridge, Pa., home, apparently intent on burglary. As the crook pointed a pistol at her, Jean Hankinson screamed for husband Melvin to get the shotgun. As Melvin grabbed for his scattergun, the thief ran downstairs and dove through a window. Police said he apparently took a set of car keys and the next night tried to take the Hankinson's car, but was again driven off. (The Beaver County Times, Beaver, Pa., 7/13/92)

175. When his dogs interrupted his morning shave, Tom Fletcher looked outside to see a man hiding behind a peach tree in his Juliette, Ga. yard. Fearing the man was a wanted fugitive, Fletcher, 76, picked up his pistol, went outside and captured the stranger. It turned out the man was wanted for the throat-slashing murder of a woman during a burglary and the stabbing of a motorist. (The Telegraph, Macon, Ga., 7/5/92)

November, 1992

176. A pair of Las Vegas, Nev., carjackers learned that it's hard to practice your profession when the chosen victims are also armed. The pair approached a car parked outside a pizza shop, drew guns and announced the robbery, but the car's two occupants drew their own guns and opened fire. The two would-be robbers fled, but a wounded suspect and an accomplice were apprehended shortly after. (The Review-Journal, Las Vegas, Nev., 8/18/92)

177. Hearing suspicious noises outside his home early one morning, a West Goshen, Pa., homeowner--already on alert after his car had been stolen two months earlier--picked up his 9 mm pistol and investigated. Outside he found two men loading his gas grill into their car. He ordered them to stop and held them at gunpoint for police. (The Daily Local News, West Chester, Pa., 9/1/92)

178. Working outside his father-in-law's restaurant, a Tacoma, Wash., man was informed by his wife that a group of armed and unruly teens was causing a disturbance in the eatery. When the group moved outside and one member threatened the Tacoman with a bottle, he fired a single shot from his pistol, wounding his attacker and halting the disturbance. The wounded man faces several charges, police said. (The Morning News Tribune, Tacoma, Wash., 7/29/92)

179. Feeling sympathy for an acquaintance with a hard-luck story, Gary Melton loaned the man $50. The man returned to Melton's store the next day, but not to repay the loan. Threatening Melton--who is confined to a wheelchair--with a letter opener, the man demanded more money. Instead of complying, Melton pulled his pistol and shot the man to death. Police said the slaying was justified. (The Times Dispatch, Richmond, Va., 8/28/92)

180. William Stubbs was in his Hallsboro, N.C., store when a man walked in and started to beat him with a club. Stubbs feigned unconsciousness until his wife, hearing the commotion, walked in and was attacked. Stubbs--who suffered several broken bones and cuts in the attack--grabbed a pistol from a drawer and shot the man several times, killing him. Stubbs' wife was also badly beaten in the attack. (The Sunday Star-News, Wilmington, N.C., 6/28/92)

181. After successfully fighting off a would-be rapist while walking her dog, a Murray, Utah, woman, enraged over the incident, retrieved a pistol from her home and went hunting for the man. Finding him attempting to hitch a ride, she held him at gunpoint until a passing motorist called police. (The Tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah, 8/6/92)

182. Stopped at a highway rest stop, Ray Cage of Justin, Tex., was returning to his truck when he was approached by two men. When one flashed a gun and ordered him out of the truck, Cage instead came up with his own gun and exchanged shots with the duo. Although wounded in the hip, Cage drove his attackers off. Two suspects were later apprehended. (The Citizen, Keller, Tex., 8/4/92)

183. Charleston, S.C., resident Theodore Palmer returned home from work early one morning only to find a stranger in his bedroom. Queried as to what he wanted, the man instead advanced on Palmer, who retreated to the hallway and grabbed a rifle he keeps there. In a brief struggle for control of the gun, Palmer shot the intruder several times. He fled, but a wounded suspect was later apprehended. A police officer said burglars should consider being shot . . . "an occupational hazard." (The Post & Courier, Charleston, S.C., 8/27/92)

184. A Eufaula, Okla., store clerk stocking a cooler was confronted by one of two men who entering the store and turned to find the second man, his pants down, behind her. The clerk threw a case of beer at the second man and ran behind the store's counter with both men in pursuit. She got to a pistol kept in a drawer, however, and drove the men from the premises without firing a shot. (The News-Capital & Democrat, McAlester, Okla., 7/27/92)

185. Talking with several friends outside a York, Pa., restaurant, Barb Wallace was shocked to see one of her party randomly attacked. The two men sparred, but Wallace's friend was knocked to the ground and kicked, his cheekbone crushed. When the attacker turned his attention to Wallace--a prison guard--she pulled her revolver. The man fled. (The Daily Record, York, Pa., 8/10/92)

186. Robbed at gun point, Dayton, Ohio, pizza-delivery man William Armour decided he should carry a gun on the job. After delivering a pizza, Armour was sitting in his car when a man approached and put a pistol to his head. Reacting quickly, Armour grabbed his own pistol and fired a single shot, mortally wounding the would-be robber. Domino's Pizza, citing company policy forbidding drivers to carry guns, fired Armour. (The Daily News, Dayton, Ohio, 7/28/92)

187. A history of domestic violence by a Mississippi man against his wife ended when he was shot to death by his son. When the man came home drunk and started to beat his wife with a baseball bat, Chris Cayson of Plantersville, Miss., grabbed a rifle and fired four times, killing his father. Police, citing a history of abuse, said Cayson's actions saved his mother from serious injury or death. (The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Tupelo, Miss., 6/10/92)

December, 1992

188. "I suppose it was silly, but I was worried about my cats," said Corydon, Ind., resident Mary Setzer after she foiled a burglary at her home. Alerted to the break-in by a friend, Setzer arrived home to find the basement door forced open. Stopping in her bedroom to retrieve her revolver, Setzer found two teenagers in her basement and held them for police. Setzer immediately purchased a shotgun, saying "A pump gun makes a noise when you load the chamber. Most people, when they hear that, they're not going to hang around." (The Courier Journal, Louisville, Ky., 6/2/92)

189. World War II veteran William Marisak's best war story comes from the war against crime. While he was tending bar at his Brooklyn tavern, four armed robbers burst in and shot him twice Marisak responded with his licensed .380, wounding one of the gunmen and putting the others to flight. "If I didn't have a gun, all of us would have been dead," he said. (Newsday, New York, N.Y., 9/13/92)

190. Panagiotis "Pete" Ioannidis thought he had left violence behind him when he moved from his native Greece--where he fought Nazis and Communists--to Providence, R.I. He was forced to take up arms again, however, when a man walked into his store and pressed a knife to his wife's throat and demanded money. Hearing her yell, Ioannidis emerged from a back room, pulled his pistol and fired three shots, mortally wounding the robber. (The Journal-Bulletin, Providence, R.I., 9/29/92)

191. A trio of strongarm robbers demanded money from James Tibbs and his son. When the Pueblo, Colo. residents refused, the crooks started throwing punches. The elder Tibbs pulled a pistol from his pocket and fired a warning shot, then fired for effect, when the criminals persisted, wounding two. (The Chieftain, Pueblo, Colo., 8/2/92)

192. Benny Taylor of Anniston, Ala., and his wife had been terrorized for years by a thug who regularly stole their Social Security money. When the criminal's attacks became increasingly violent, Taylor finally accepted the loan of a .38 from a friend. When the man showed up at the house again and kicked through the door, Taylor fired twice, killing him. "I didn't know what else to do," Taylor said. "This is my home." (The Star, Anniston, Ala., 9/9/92)

193. Clint Reynolds' uncle was trying to fend off a 600-lb. grizzly with a rifle butt as it tried to climb through a window of the family's Central, Alaska, home. Reynolds, 14, loaded his .357 Mag. revolver and rushed to the rescue, firing 15 shots at the bear. Seven struck home, mortally wounding the marauding bruin. (The Daily News-Miner, Fairbanks, Alaska, 7/22/92)

194. A former boxer writing a crime novel did some first-hand research when he stopped a burglary in a crowded North Hollywood, Calif., coffee shop. A regular at the shop, Randy Shields was working on the story when two armed robbers burst in and fired several shots. Slightly wounded as he crawled behind a table, he came up firing when he heard the bandits threaten to kill customers and employees. In the ensuing battle, Shields chased the men from the store. Two wounded suspects were later apprehended. (The Mercury News, San Jose, Calif., 9/21/92)

195. Steve Cartier thought he'd subdued a deranged intruder with his 9 mm pistol, but when his wife phoned Battle Ground, Oreg., police, the housebreaker lunged at her. After scuffling with the man, who ignored two warning shots, Cartier shot and killed him. The county prosecutor said he expected no charges to be filed against the homeowner. (The Oregonian, Portland, Oreg., 8/14/92)

196. After losing nearly everything to Hurricane Andrew, Dade County, Fla., resident Bart Sanfillipo was serious when he put a sign in his front yard warning looters he would shoot. Sanfillipo, his wife and an insurance adjuster were tallying the damage when an armed bandit leaped from a van and fired a shotgun blast over their heads. Sanfillipo responded with his .44, hitting the criminal in the head at 30 ft. "Score one for the good guys," a police detective said of the incident. (The Sun-Sentinel, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., 9/14/92)

197. A Yonkers, N.Y., woman demurred when a strongarm robber demanded her purse as she was making a call at a public phone. She instead reached in the purse and came up with her licensed .38. The criminal fled empty-handed. (The Herald Statesman, Yonkers, N.Y., 8/6/92)

198. A semi-automatic pistol provided the protection the police couldn't for a New Orleans, La., area woman. After calling police to report a prowler outside her home, the woman got a pistol, and when the intruder crept through the front door, she shot him once in the neck, putting him to flight. A wounded suspect was apprehended minutes later. (The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, La., 7/22/92)

199. An Upper Marlboro, Md., homeowner warned the intruder he was armed. But the housebreaker ignored the warning and charged up the stairs. The householder opened up with a .38 and killed him. (The Times, Washington, D.C., 9/2/92)

200. Two would-be burglars made a big blunder when they woke up the owner of a Mechanicsville, Md., home. When one shined a flashlight into the face of the sleeping 71-year-old man, he grabbed his shotgun and chased the duo from the home with several blasts. (The Enterprise, Lexington Park, Md., 8/21/92)

January, 1993

201. "I'm not the guy to shoot someone, but when a guy comes after you with an 18" pizza knife, you have to do something," said Brockton, Mass., restauranteur George Mouraditis. The pizza maker grabbed his licensed pistol and went to investigate when he heard breaking glass, and opened fire when the burglar brandished the knife. Police said the incident was a clear case of self defense and mounted a search for the wounded criminal. (The Enterprise, Brockton, Mass., 09/18/92)

202. When a criminal quartet drew weapons and announced a robbery, Dorchester, Mass., storekeeper Paul Doung pulled two licensed semi-autos and, in a furious exchange, wounded one thug and drove all four from the store. After reviewing surveillance videotape, police ruled Doung legally defended himself and would face no charges. (The Globe, Boston, Mass., 08/18/92)

203. Working on his truck, Sammy Creech of Ruston, La., glanced across the street in time to see two male teenagers grab an elderly woman's purse. The duo jumped into a car---occupied by two female youths---and took off, with Creech in hot pursuit. The driver of the car eventually lost control and crashed into a parked car. Creech walked up to the car, but when he saw a gun on the floorboards, retreated to his truck, got a .38 and ordered the foursome, all runaways from New York, to wait for police. (The Daily Leader, Ruston, La., 10/05/92)

204. Answering a knock on the door of his Harrisburg, Pa., apartment, Tony Thompson was greeted by a man brandishing a gun. During the ensuing struggle between the homeowner and the masked gunman, Thompson was shot in the arm but managed to get his own gun and fire, killing his attacker. (The Evening News, Harrisburg, Pa., 10/27/92)

205. Supposedly looking for his keys, a man convinced Gary Harr, manager of a Mapleton, Ill., tavern, to let him into the business after closing. Once inside, the man shot Harr in the back four times. Critically wounded, Harr managed to stumble behind the counter, grab a revolver and kill his assailant with several shots. "He thought he could get something for nothing, but he got what he deserved," said John Pusser, owner of the bar and brother of the late Tennessee sheriff Buford Pusser. (The Journal Star, Peoria, Ill., 09/19/92)

206. Up and about early one morning, a Salem, Wis., woman became suspicious when her dog began growling at something outside. Getting her revolver, she told her daughter to call police and then went out to look around. She found two men trying to take her Corvette from the garage and fired several shots to scare the men off. As they were running to their van, one thug returned fire, but missed. (The News, Kenosha, Wis., 11/07/92)

207. Alerted by noises from outside at 4 a.m., Mesa, Ariz., resident Thomas Winfield got his pistol, went to investigate and found a man trying to jimmy his car's ignition with a screwdriver. Winfield ordered the man from the car and was holding him for police, but then the man lunged, Winfield shot him once, mortally wounding him. (The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, Ariz., 11/06/92)

208. The target of a recent burglary, Willeen Lansberry was suspicious when she got several hang-up phone calls in one day. Hiding in her Niagra Falls, N.Y., apartment with her .38, her stakeout was rewarded when two teenagers forced open the door. Emerging from her hiding place, Lansberry held the pair for police. (The News, Buffalo, N.Y., 10/06/92)

209. The would-be burglar who kicked in the font door of Sonya Poole's Lakeland, Fla., home, saw something he'll never forget; Poole aiming a .44 right between his eyes. Instead of shooting the intruder, Poole fired several warning shots, chasing him and an accomplice from the resident. While Poole called police, a lawn-care worker saw one of the fleeing men, followed him and called police on a portable phone when the man hid in a nearby store. (The Ledger, Lakeland, Fla., 08/14/92)

210. Two men were discussing gold bracelets in a New Rochelle, N.Y., jewelry store when they announced a robbery and drew pistols. They found themselves the targets of a withering hail of fire laid down by store owner Joseph Soares, who used three firearms, all registered, to halt the robbery and kill one of the pistol-wielding thugs. A local district attorney said it appeared that Soares acted justifiably in self-defense. (The Standard-Star, New Rochelle, N.Y., 08/27/92)

211. Nervous because three men in a passing car were staring at her, a Lancaster, Calif., woman got a pistol from her stranded car and loaded it. Her precaution proved warranted when the men returned and demanded money. Aiming her gun, she ordered the trio to leave, which they hastily did. (The Antelope Valley Press, Lancaster, Calif., 11/06/92)

212. Two teenage girls were asleep at the one's Bakersfield, Calif., home when two armed, masked men kicked their way in through the door, confronted the young woman and demanded money. When one grabbed a wallet, one girl, a guest in the home, grabbed a 9mm and opened fire, mortally wounding one of the invaders. The other escaped. Police said the girl would not face charges. (The Californian, Bakersfield, Calif., 09/21/92)

February, 1993

213. Sue Atkins had vowed not to be the victim of a robbery again, and made good on her promise when a robber walked into the Durham, N.C., Western Union office where she works, said he had a gun and demanded money. What he got was an arm wound from Atkin's pistol. He ran, but police caught up with him nearby. "The threat of a weapon is the same thing as armed robbery in North Carolina," said a police officer. (The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C., 11/03/92)

214. A coordinated armed robbery attempt at a Barrington, R.I., jewelry store backfired when the robber met an armed citizen. Owner George Gray was on the phone when the armed man entered. When Gray yelled into the phone for help, the crook fired at him but missed. Gray then returned fire, killing his attacker. Police said the dead man had a long police record, adding that Gray acted in self-defense. (The Journal-Bulletin, Providence, R.I., 09/10/92)

215. Jessie Bishop was rudely awakened when an intruder tried to climb through the window of her Phoenix, Ariz., home. Bishop warned the man she was going to call police, but when he continued to climb through the window, she fired a single shot from her revolver, fatally wounding him. (The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, Ariz., 11/15/92)

216. Getting cigarettes for his "customer," Trung Thach, manager of a San Antonio, Tex., convenience store, turned back to find him holding a gun. Thach complied with the man's demands for money by reaching into the till with his right hand, but pulled a 9mm from under the counter with his left and fired twice, mortally wounding the robber. Police, noting the robber's "gun" was a realistic-looking toy, said Thach was justified in firing. (The Light, San Antonio, Tex., 10/19/92)

217. Nathaniel Womack tried to ignore the late-night pounding on the door of his Lynchburg, Va., home, hoping the visitor would go away. When a prowler broke down the door and barged into his bedroom, however, Womack shot him in the face and put him to flight. A wounded suspect was apprehended a short time later. (The News & Daily Advance, Lynchburg, Va., 09/11/92)

218. Gail Meadows, a columnist for the anti-gun Miami Herald, got a firsthand look at crime and what armed citizens can do to prevent it when her car was rammed by another near her home. Four thugs swarmed her car and were trying to rob her when--alerted by Meadows beeping her horn--her neighbors came to the rescue. One man, armed with a shotgun, wounded one attacker and drove off the others. (The Herald, Miami, Fla., 10/28/92)

219. Jacksonville, Fla., resident David Pierce capitalized on an unusual opportunity while driving home one afternoon --- he recovered his stolen truck. Taken along with over $12,000 in tools and cash in a nighttime theft at his home, the truck pulled up beside Pierce at an intersection about three weeks later. Pierce grabbed his .357 revolver, ordered two men from the truck and held them for police, who lodged several charges agains the pair. (The Florida times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla., 10/29/92)

220. Hearing noises from his father's grocery store next door early one morning, Hickory, La., resident Bruce Bennett peered through his window and saw a man banging on the side door of the business. Bennett got his gun and found the man trying to break through the front door. Bennett held him at gunpoint until police arrived. (The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, La., 11/05/92)

221. James Brown didn't hesitate in becoming involved when he saw a man being robbed and assaulted by several gun-toting thugs outside a Covina, Calif., bank. Brown chased one of the group who was carrying two bags full of money. When the robber turned and fired two shots at him at a distance of 200 ft. and missed, Brown returned fire and wounded the gunman in the stomach. Brown then held the man for police, who later arrested his accomplice. (The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, West Covina, Calif., 10/31/92)

222. An East Long Beach, Calif., man pushed his luck too far when he apparently tried to break into the same house twice in 10 days. Hearing sounds near his front door, resident George Doolittle grabbed his handgun and went to investigate. When he got into the front hall, Doolittle saw the man coming through the front door. Doolittle fired two times, wounded the intruder and held him for police. (The Press-Telegram, Long Beach, Calif., 10/07/92)

223. Police scored an easy collar after an Erie, Pa., homeowner heard a break-in, called police and then grabbed his rifle. Confronting the intruder, the homeowner forced him to retreat outside, right into the handcuffs of arriving officers. (The Daily Times., Erie, Pa., 10/22/92)

224. Billy Sisson and two fellow elk hunters had stopped for gas at a Grande Ronde, Oreg., market, when a man witnesses described as possibly drunk or on drugs approached and started an argument. After a terse exchange with the hunters, he began threatening the trio with a revolver. Sisson retrieved his .30-'06 and fired a single shot, mortally wounding the man; police said he had a lengthy arrest record. (The Statesman Journal, Salem, Oreg., 11/17/92)

March, 1993

225. Charlie Mikos of Bensalem, Pa., had just gone to bed when he was roused by his daughter's screams and the sounds of a struggle. Running downstairs, he found a man holding what later turned out to be a stun gun to her head. Grabbing his pistol, Mikos trained it on the man, convinced him to cease his assault and held him for police. (The Bucks County Courier Times, Levittown, Pa., 11/06/92)

226. When he heard his dog barking early one morning, Willie Wilson of Winston-Salem, N.C., grabbed his rifle, went onto his front porch to investigate and found a man rummaging through his truck. Wilson yelled and the thief turned and fired a shot, prompting Wilson to return fire. The man and an accomplice fled, but a wounded suspect was later apprehended. (The Journal, Winston-Salem, N.C., 11/24/92)

227. After a man gained entry to a Jericho, N.Y., hotel by opening his coat to prove to the manager that he was unarmed, the manager remarked that the inn had been robbed several times in the past month. Pulling a gun, he would-be guest replied, "I know, I'm the robber." The manager pulled a .357 and killed the robber--who had several juvenile felony convictions and was a suspect in a string of armed robberies--with two shots. (Newsday, Long Island, N.Y., 10/22/92)

228. Finding firearms piled on the couch and the television pulled away from the wall of her future mother-in-law's home in Datil, N. Mex., Shawna Haynes called police and family members and then got a rifle and loaded it. Noticing a man approaching the door to the house, Haynes warned him away. When he ignored her and tried to open the door, she fired several shots, putting him to flight. (The Defensor Chieftain, Socorro, N. Mex., 11/14/92)

229. While working late at his store, Lazaro Salazar, a Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., businessman, heard screams from the store next door. He grabbed his pistol and confronted an armed robber exiting the shop. The criminal raised his pistol, but Salazar was faster on the draw and fired, wounding him. Neighbors said the crook had previously robbed them, one shopowner five times. (The sun-Sentinel, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., 11/10/92)

230. Though beaten and shot by a pair of robbers, Carol Ponciano of Oroville, Calif., managed to get a pistol from her bedroom and opened fire on the pair as they assaulted her roommate. Her shots mortally wounded one of the intruders. The other fled, but a wounded juvenile was apprehended later. The county sheriff, noting the dead man had an "18-page rap sheet," said "Had she not done what she did, I'm convinced we'd have a triple murder on our hands." (The Enterprise-Record, Chico, Calif., 12/07/92)

231. Claiming to be electrical inspectors, two men gained entry to an elderly Golo, Ky., couple's home and pretended to inspect electrical outlets. When the homeowner found one of the men rifling his wife's purse, however, he grabbed a handgun and drove the men off with several shots. (The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky., 12/02/92)

232. A 19-year-old robber made a big mistake when, several days after stealing a pistol from a Chula Vista, Calif., gunshop, he tried to come back for the rest of the firearms. He pointed the stolen firearm at owner Gene Reynolds and his partner, but when he leaned over a counter to open a display case, Reynolds pulled his own pistol and fired several shots, wounding the man and stopping the robbery. (The Union-Tribune, San Diego, Calif., 12/09/92)

233. Samuel Stewart, 77, didn't believe the man at the front door of his Wichita, Kans., home when he claimed to be a police officer, so Stewart shut the door. Stewart called police and got his shotgun when the man broke in through an upstairs window a few minutes later and kicked through a door to the ground floor. When the housebreaker came around the corner, Steward killed him with a single blast. Police said the slain man had a police record that included burglary charges. (The Eagle, Wichita, Kans., 12/11/92)

234. Insulted, afraid and angry after discovering a burglary at their Springfield, Mo., home, Kent and Mary Dunning decided to wait and see if the burglar would return. Their vigil was soon rewarded when two men walked into the home through the back door, knocking over several cans that the Dunnings had placed as an alarm. When the pair ignored orders to halt, Kent Dunning opened fire, wounding one intruder. Dunning then held him for police. The other escaped. "I'm strongly in favor of the right to keep and bear arms," the homeowner said. (The News-Leader, Springfield, Mo., 12/29/92)

235. Jumped in his carport by two gun-wielding thugs, Columbus, Ga., area cattleman Clarence Borom handed over his wallet. When the men told him to go into the house and get more money, Borom slammed and locked the door and headed for the .38 he keeps in his bedroom. One of the two men shot out a pane of glass in the door, unlocked it and entered the house. When Borom heard the intruder threaten his wife, he opened fire. In the exchange of shots between the men, Borom was wounded in the arm, but drove both robbers from the residence. (The Ledger-Enquirer, Columbus, Ga., 11/03/92)

April, 1993

236. Retired Las Vegas deputy police chief Larry Bolden initially tried to defend himself with a steering wheel bar lock when a criminal attacked him in his car. But then the intruder wrestled it from him, Bolden pulled his pistol and fired several times, wounding his attacker and stopping the incident. "He was just a citizen defending himself," a police official said. (The Review-Journal, Las Vegas, Nev., 11/11/92)

237. A pair of teenaged robbers armed with a sawed-off shotgun and handguns took the day's receipts from Brooklyn bodega owner Hector Martinez. As they made their getaway, Martinez grabbed his registered 12-gauge shotgun and gave chase. When one fired, Martinez returned three blasts, slightly wounding his assailants. They fled but were apprehended when they sought medical attention. (Newsday, Long Island, N.Y., 01/05/93)

238. A sign posted on the door of Roman Paras' shop reads "The owners of this property are armed and highly skilled to protect life, liberty and property from criminal attack." Apparently, a pair of robbers didn't pause to read it as they threatened Paras' wife in their Oxnard, Calif., convenience store. Hearing her scream, Paras grabbed his .38, ran to the front of the store and shot it out with the masked and armed men, killing one criminal. (The Times, Los Angeles, Calif., 12/04/92)

239. Anne Marie Sullivan was showering in her Portland, Oreg., home one morning when she heard the front door crash in. She jumped out of the shower in time to see a man entering the home. Running to the bedroom, Sullivan retrieved her boyfriend's pistol and fired two shots, mortally wounding the intruder. The dead man had a lengthy police and prison record. (The Oregonian, Portland, Oreg., 01/07/93)

240. Mike Baranelli would have let two robbers who burst into a Birmingham, Ala., barber shop keep his money. But the 75-year-old retired teacher was unwilling to surrender his life. When the intruders ordered Baranelli, the shop owner, and another man to lie on the floor, Baranelli pulled his pistol and shot both men in the head, killing one. "I felt sure there was going to be three dead people in there. I think I had some divine help," Baranelli said. (The Sunday Advertiser, Montgomery, Ala., 01/03/93)

241. Believing an elderly Harvey, Ill., couple would again be easy prey, a knife-wielding home invader instead met death when the 76-year-old homeowner loosed three rounds from a semi-automatic pistol. Police said the dead man had been charged several times for thefts from the couple's home. (The Star, Chicago Heights, Ill., 01/07/93)

242. The criminal's profile was scheduled to appear on "America's Most Wanted," but his shot at fame was abruptly canceled by a Hallandale, Fla., service station clerk. The Michigan prison escapee walked into the station and announced a robbery. Instead of cash, he got bullets in the head and chest from station clerk Gary McVey. Police said McVey acted in self-defense and would not face charges. (The Sun-Sentinel, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., 12/04/92)

243. A Bridgeport, Conn., oil delivery man handed over the few dollars he had. But the thug, apparently unsatisfied with his take, turned his gun on his victim and demanded more money. Instead of more cash, the deliveryman instead pulled his own pistol and fired, mortally wounding the robber. Police said the dead man had held up a nearby market just before the fatal incident. (The Courant, Hartford, Conn., 01/13/93)

244. After repeated burglaries at her San Marcos, Calif., home, Joan Vessel, 64, was ready with a .38 and a cordless phone when she heard glass breaking one afternoon. When she found two teenagers attempting to get into her woodshed, Vessel fired a warning shot over their heads, marched them into the front yard and called police. (The Times Advocate, Escondido, Calif., 12/25/92)

245. Angry that his auto insurance had been canceled, a client used brass knuckles to take it out on Brandon, Fla., agent Steven Taylor. When his assailant walked out of the office, Taylor grabbed a pistol kept there and held the former client at gunpoint until police arrived. (The Tribune, Tampa, Fla., 01/14/93)

246. Dozing one evening at his Exeter, Pa., office, Jim Pisano was awakened by the barking of his dog. Sitting in stunned amazement, he watched as two men smashed out his office window, reached in and grabbed one of his hunting rifles. Reaching a pistol on his desk, Pisano fired several shots, apparently wounding one of the burglars, and putting them to flight. (The Times-Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., 12/09/92)

247. Trying on a pair of shoes was just an act for a criminal who then pulled a knife and demanded money. When the man advanced, the Flint, Mich., shoestore owner drew his pistol and fired, critically wounding the would-be robber. (The Journal, Flint, Mich., 01/13/93)

248. Disarmed and pistol whipped after struggling with a pair of shotgun-toting thugs, Brooklyn, N.Y., pharmacist Soel Melero continued fighting and managed to retrieve a second-also licensed- hidden pistol. Firing three times, the druggist killed one of his assailants. The other fled empty-handed. (The Daily News, New York, N.Y., 01/18/93)

May, 1993

249. Darren Yakunovich didn't expect to be holding a rifle on a friend, but that's how it worked out when the 17-year-old Kipton, Ohio, youth stayed home from school to catch a burglar who had hit his parent's home several times previously. When the erstwhile friend walked into an upstairs bedroom, Yakunovich held him at gunpoint until police arrived. (The Chronicle-Telegram, Elyria, Ohio 03/04/93)

250. A slow afternoon suddenly turned exciting for Omaha, Nebr., bar owner Maurice Howard when a masked man entered and announced a robbery. Howard initially complied with the man's demands for money, but then the crook's attention was diverted, Howard went for his gun. Neither was hit in the ensuing exchange of shots, but the robber fled empty handed. (The World-Herald, Omaha, Nebr., 12/09/92)

251. A would-be burglar made a fatal mistake when he took an empty driveway to mean that Jeff Armstrong was at work. Armstrong, of Memphis, Tenn., had lent his car to a coworker and, when he heard glass shattering at 6 a.m., grabbed his pistol. Finding a man had punched his arm through his front door and was trying to unlatch it, Armstrong ordered him to stop. When the intruder persisted, the homeowner killed him with a single shot. Police said the slain man had a criminal history and no fixed address. (The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn., 01/12/93)

252. Two would-be robbers didn't get what they expected when they pulled a knife on a man in the parking lot of an Exton, Pa., grocery store and demanded his money. "I don't think so," replied the man, who then pulled a licensed handgun, prompting the pair to beat a hasty retreat. (The Inquirer, Philadelphia, Pa., 02/25/93)

253. A Canyon Lake, Calif., man owes his good health to his handgun, not for protecting him from criminal attack, but for allowing him to shoot his way out of a disabled car after it was swept into Canyon Lake. When raging flood waters shorted out the electrical system and prevented him from opening the window, the man shot out the window and swam to safety. (The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, Calif., 01/18/93)

254. Counting on cut phone lines to aid their burglary attempt, two men didn't count on Dyersburg, Tenn., World War II veteran J.D. Troutt having a shotgun. Awakened by breaking glass at 2:30 a.m., Troutt grabbed his 12-ga. and waited. When one man appeared, Troutt held him at gunpoint, but when the second tried to get in, he fired a blast through the window, putting him to flight. Troutt's wife ran next door and phoned police, who arrested the pair. (The State Gazette, Dyersburg, Tenn., 01/08/93)

255. Hearing the unmistakeable sounds of a door being kicked in at his Hope Mills, N.C., home early one morning, Hal Edwards grabbed his gun and went to investigate. Edwards found the intruder in his sleeping daughter's bedroom, and, after being fired upon, shot the criminal twice in the chest, killing him. (The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C., 02/24/93)

256. The fact that he was recovering from a stab wound suffered in an assault the day before didn't keep Roderick McGill from preventing a rape outside his Buffalo, N.Y., home. Hearing the gagged woman's cries, McGill had his girlfriend call police and grabbed his shotgun. Outside, he confronted the would-be rapist as he attempted to strip his victim and held him for police. (The News, Buffalo, N.Y., 01/25/93)

257. "I told him he'd picked the wrong night," said Kyle Wagstaff of the knife-wielding robber he apprehended outside the Salt Lake City, Utah, store where his fiancee works. In the store when a man walked in, pulled a knife and demanded money, he retreated outside to get a shotgun from his truck. When the robber, clutching a handful of money, walked from the store, Wagstaff trained the shotgun on him and held him for police. (The Desert News, Salt Lake City, Utah, 01/31/93)

258. When a Kennard, Tex., woman stopped by her house on an errand, she was assaulted by a man she found burglarizing the residence. Managing to get outside the house, the woman screamed and alerted Mildred Steed, her mother and next door neighbor. Steed grabbed her .38 and fired several shots when she saw her daughter pinned to the ground, a knife to her throat. The shots mortally wounded the attacker. (The Houston County Courier, Livingston, Tex., 01/17/93)

259. "I guess he shouldn't have forgot about me," was Larry Quebodeaux's comment on the armed robber who came through the back door of the Beaumont., Tex., restaurant Quebodeaux manages. As the thug demanded money, Quebodeaux slipped into the office, got a pistol and waited in front of the business. When the man started herding everyone into the kitchen, Quebodeaux started firing. The robber was wounded five times and driven from the business. (The Enterprise, Beaumont, Tex., 11/13/92)

260. A Ft. Myers, Fla., woman had just risen to feed her baby when a robber broke down her front door with a wooden pole. Her husband grabbed a pistol and confronted the intruder, inviting him to wait for police, which he did. (The News-Press, Ft. Myers, Fla., 01/16/93)

June, 1993

261. Pistol-whipped in a robbery 10 years ago, Georgi Gots, a New York City jeweler and Russian immigrant, repeatedly tried to get-- and was denied--a pistol permit. Gots purchased a handgun anyway, a decision that may have saved him when an armed robber burst into his store, demanding loot. Gots pulled his own gun and killed the holdup man. Gots was taken into custody, but an investigator said police would probably not recommend charges, saying "The poor guy was just trying to protect himself." (Newsday, Long Island, N.Y., 01/28/93)

262. A 99-year prison sentence meant only a few years in the pen for a convicted murderer and bank robber before he was free to embark on a new crime spree. His criminal career ended, however, when Manchester, Pa., bar owner Richard Schmitt traded shots with and killed the hoodlum as he struggled with and wounded several patrons during a robbery attempt. (The Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, Pa., 02/16/93)

263. Awakened when a burglar broke through the back door of his home in LaPine, Oreg., James Edgil, 71, was attacked when he confronted the intruder. Although beaten with a fire extinguisher, Edgil was able to retrieve his handgun and, firing two shots, drove his assailant from the home. Edgil was hospitalized with head injuries and a broken arm. (The Bulletin, Bend, Oreg., 03/30/93)

264. Hyong Kun Pak bought a gun after being robbed in 1981, but didn't keep it at his Baltimore, Md., grocery until he was robbed again 11 years later. Only weeks after the second robbery, Pak used the .357 Mag. to kill an armed robber who was holding a gun on Pak's partner. After the partner struggled and broke free, Pak fired, striking the thug in the neck, killing him. (The Sun, Baltimore, Md., 03/08/93)

265. Shouting that he was armed, Martin Madirosian sprinted to the front of his Modesto, Calif., home when an intruder began pounding on the front door, demanding to be let in early one morning. Madirosian warned him with two .45 shots, but the hoodlum dove through the door's glass window and made a threatening move, prompting Madirosian to shoot and wound him. (The Bee, Modesto, Calif., 02/04/93)

266. Vietnam veteran Victor Czerniak's dog earned a big bone by alerting him to an early morning robbery attempt at his Dallas, Tex., home. Unnerved by the dog's uncharacteristic growling, he got his .380 and confronted a man in his kitchen. When the intruder made a sudden move, Czerniak shot him once, driving him from the house. A second man also fled, but both were apprehended by police. (The Morning News, Dallas, Tex., 02/08/93)

267. Indicating that 87-year-old Floyd Bales acted in self-defense, officials said no charges would be filed against him for fatally wounding his granddaughter's estranged husband. The man, just released from jail for assaulting his wife, kicked down the door to Bale's Tukwila, Wash., home, and when he rushed inside, Bales-- terminally ill and dependent upon oxygen--killed him with several shots. (The Post-Intelligencer, Seattle, Wash., 04/07/93)

268. "He just came in and put a gun on me, and luckily I was standing right next to mine," said Brian Charlton, a clerk in a Nashville, Tenn., store. The robber, his face wrapped in plastic, motioned Charlton to the till with the muzzle of his pistol, prompting Charlton to grab his .357 Mag. and fire, wounding the man, who was given medical treatment and charged with armed robbery. (The Tennessean, Nashville, Tenn., 03/03/93)

269. Ohio farmer Tom Study returned to his house after morning chores to find a stranger in the living room wearing Study's favorite hat. Thinking quickly, Study told the man he had to tend the cows. The ruse worked and allowed Study to retrieve a .38 from an outbuilding. By the time he returned to the house, the man was outside in Study's car. Training his pistol on the interloper, Study held him for police. (The Post, Cincinnati, Ohio, 03/12/93)

270. Checking on his car when he heard sounds in the parking lot of his apartment complex, an Amarillo, Tex., man came under fire from two would-be car thieves. The resident drew his own gun, and killed one of the gunmen and wounded the other. The dead man had been arraigned several months before for an incident in which an eight-month-old child was shot. (The Globe-Times, Amarillo, Tex., 02/08/93)

271. Four drug abusers made a big mistake, fatal for one of them, when they decided to rob a stash house. They knocked instead on the door of Larry Childer's Hiram, Ga., home, and one attacked and injured Childer's wife with a knife when she opened the door. Childers grabbed his .357 and fired, killing his wife's assailant. Police arrested three suspects and charged two with murder in the death of their accomplice. (The Douglas County Sentinel, Douglasville, Ga., 01/12/93)

272. Herbert Armstrong's daughter answered a knock on the door of her father's Isle of Wight, Va., home and was assaulted by an armed thug. Rushing to her aid, Armstrong, 78, was also attacked and knocked to his knees. Struggling to his feet, Armstrong grabbed a revolver from atop the refrigerator and drove the assailant from the home with several shots. (The Daily Press, Newport News., Va., 03/30/93)

July, 1993

273. Knowing the "protection" afforded her by a court restraining order was minimal at best, Viroqua, Wisconsin, resident Lynn McMillen decided to back it up with a .357 Mag. When McMillen's ex-husband, accompanied by two companions, broke into the home where she was staying and threatened to kill her, she shot and wounded him and an accomplice. Saying McMillen's actions were in self-defense, the local district attorney added "In this case, the onces who were shot are not the victims." (The Tribune, La Crosse, WI, 03/12/93)

274. "This is all I have," was Ronald Arruda's reply when a man jumped into his truck at an intersection, flashed a knife and demanded money. Instead of coming up with his wallet, Arruda, of Fairhaven, Massachusetts, pulled a licensed pistol and fired once, convincing the unwounded thug to abandon his plans and flee. (The Standard-Times, New Bedford, MA, 04/20/93)

275. James Petry was asleep in his Waynesburg, Kentucky, home when two armed men kicked down the door, apparently intent on burglary. Awakened by the commotion, Petry grabbed a pistol and fired, wounding one of the burglars and putting both to flight. Two suspects, one wounded, were apprehended shortly after. (The Advocate-Messenger, Danville, KY, 04/08/93)

276. Wile an address book may not be the ideal substitute for a bullet-resistant vest, Detroit grocer Salim Mansour owes his life to the one he keeps in his breast pocket. It stopped a bullet fired by one of three robbers who invaded his store. Mansour pulled his .38 and killed one criminal: the others were caught by police. "He's showing the book to everybody," the grocers cousin said. (The Free Press, Detroit, MI, 03/24/93)

277. Kim McCormack's opinion of Phoenix changed drastically after he and his fiancee became engaged in a rush hour gun battle that left his 14-month-old daughter wounded in the arm. Stopped for a traffic signal, McCormack pulled his truck forward after another car stopped alongside and the occupants flashed a handgun. When they started shooting, McCormack and fiancee Traci Updike pulled their own pistols and returned fire, driving their assailants away. "The city is not safe," McCormack said. "For us, our guns are like an American Express card. We never leave home without them." (The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, AZ, 04/08/93)

278. A Denver liquor-store clerk sprung into action after an armed man entered his store, fired a shot and threatened the clerk and a customer friend. When the gunman threatened the friend, the clerk jumped over the counter and both men struggled with the robber. The clerk was finally able to get the store's gun from under the counter, fired twice and killed the attacker. Police said the clerk would not be charged. (The Post, Denver, CO, 03/17/93)

279. In Washington, where armed criminals run rampant but honest citizens are denied the right to own handguns for personal protection, one city resident stood up for himself when he shot a man who tried to rob him in his home. The homeowner had given the thug a bucket of water, but when the bucket was returned, the good Samaritan found himself looking down the barrel of a pistol. Raising his hands as ordered, he grabbed a pistol he secreted on a shelf and shot the would-be robber. Police confiscated his gun, but the district commander said, "If the circumstances are as they seem, I don't think justice will be served if they charge this guy." (The Times, Washington, DC, 05/05/93)

280. David Sager of Pearblossom, California, knew he didn't leave the lights on in his home, so he suspected a burglar. His fears were confirmed when a man armed with a kitchen knife dashed out the front door. Sager, armed due to a burglary only the day before, tackled the housebreaker, tied him up with an extension cord and held him at gunpoint for police. (The Antelope Valley Press, Palmdale, CA, 03/11/93)

281. A brazen mid-afternoon robbery ended in death for a robber when the owner of a Bay Shore, New York, fur shop fought back. Voltidis Anastasios was in his store when a man and woman walked in and assaulted him. Anastasios was able to reach his shotgun and fire several blasts, killing the woman. The man fled to a waiting car, with Anastasios in pursuit and firing several more blasts. Police later apprehended several wounded suspects. (Newsday, Long Island, NY, 02/26/93)

282. Lillian Hazard wasn't kidding when she told an intruder in her Riverside, California, home he should "lay down or I'll shoot you." Obviously thinking the 85-year-old grandmother wouldn't shoot, the man tried to stand. Hazard shot him in the shoulder. "I wasn't scared because I had my gun," said Hazard. Police confiscated her pistol but said she would not be charged. (The Bee, Modesto, CA, 04/27/93)

283. Minutes after an alarm sounded down the street, Blaine Huey's dog started to bark. Huey, working in the back yard of his Embreeville, Pennsylvania, home, walked in and found a man in the living room. After the man tossed a coal bucket at him, Huey shot him twice with a 10 mm pistol. The wounded burglar ran, but collapsed in the basement. Police said Huey was justified in shooting the intruder. (The Daily Record, Coatesville, PA, 03/09/93)

August, 1993

284. James Bracewell, 18, was in the stockroom of his father's Dublin, Georgia, liquor store when a man armed with a knife walked in, grabbed a female clerk and demanded money. The robber got the case, but he made a mistake when he threatened to kill the clerk and told Bracewell to give him the store's handgun, kept under the counter. Bracewell grabbed the gun and fired twice, mortally wounding the robber. (The Courier Herald, Dublin, GA., 03/26/93)

285. Stopping by to check on their son's Winnabow, North Carolina home, Walter Babson heard noises in the home. Retreating to his car to get his .45, Babson then searched the mobile home and found two men hiding there, one under a bed. Babson escorted the duo to the living room and called police. (The Beacon, Brunswick, NC., 06/06/93)

286. A Ceresville, Maryland, man was sitting on the deck of his home with his wife and daughter when an armed fugitive on the run from a manhunt suddenly appeared. The homeowner got his family inside, locked the doors, grabbed his gun and loaded it. When the resident shouted that he was armed, the fugitive---captured soon after by police---ran. "It was a split-second decision to load the gun and threaten him," the man said. "But I didn't want him in my house." (The Post, Frederick, MD., 04/27/93)

287. Modesto Aguilar, Sr., and his family sleep on the floor of their San Antonio, Texas, home because it has been shot up by gang members so many times, but Qguilar evened the score a little one evening. Awakened by the familiar sound of bullets hitting his home, he got his M1 carbine and returned fire, killing one of the criminals. Two others fled. (The Express-News, San Antonio, TX., 04/16/93)

288. Raped at knifepoint in her home, an Edmonds, Washington, woman exacted revenge. Allowed by her attacker to go to the bathroom, instead she pulled a pistol from her purse. Firing several shots, she chased and cornered the sex offender in a downstairs bathroom and held him for police. Several weeks later the man pleaded guilty to eight rapes in a six-month period. (The Post-Intelligencer, Seattle, WA., 05/14/93)

289. James Henry sees his fatal shooting of an intruder in his Tulsa, Oklahoma, home as a clear case of self-defense. "I had to do it. I am too old to run," Henry said. When the man started banging on the door to his apartment, Henry retreated to his bedroom, grabbed a gun and phoned police. Though the police dispatcher told him not to shoot, Henry squeezed off a single round, mortally wounding the man, when he opened the door to the room. (The World, Tulsa, OK., 04/18/93)

290. Standing in the kitchen of his New Cassel, New York, home, facing a robber armed with a shotgun, Archell Freeman surrendered his cash and gold jewelry. When the crook demanded more loot, Freeman led him into the living room and grabbed a revolver off a shelf. Firing several times, Freeman mortally wounded the gunman. (Newsday, New York, NY., 03/26/93)

291. A Wichita, Kansas, pizza-shop clerk got the best of two robbers, one armed, when he pulled his own pistol and shot it out with them. The clerk, alone in the store when the criminal duo entered, grabbed his pistol in response to demands for money. The robber fired first and missed, while the clerk's aim was true. The pair fled, but the wounded crook collapsed and was captured. Police affirmed the clerk's right to defend himself with a handgun. (The Eagle, Wichita, KS., 03/25/93)

292. Arriving at his Fullerton, California, home late one night with $1,200 in receipts from his bar, Elias Torres was grabbed from behind while another threatened him with a handgun. Torres pulled his own pistol and fired twice, killing the gunman. Although Torres was carrying the gun---after earlier assaults---without a permit, police said he was justified in killing his attacker. "[The shooting] is indicative of the current environment with street robberies and carjackings and people . . . arming themselves," said one officer. (The Orange County Register, Santa Ana, CA., 04/27/93)

293. Alone in her Albuquerque home one morning, Catherine Mobley armed herself with a handgun when a man intent on burglary broke through a sliding glass door. Mobley ordered the man to leave, but when he refused, she shot and killed him. "If it appears to be what it appears to be, this is not an open and shut case," said the DA. "It's a shut and shut case." (The Journal, Albuquerque, NM., 05/12/93)

294. After enduring several months of vandalism directed at him by another man, Lanny Spurlock of Culleoka, Tennessee, took action when the vandal and an accomplice kicked in the door to Spurlock's home hours after challenging him to a fight. As the duo entered the home, Spurlock, armed with a handgun, fired three times, slightly wounding his tormentor and putting both to flight. (The Daily Herald, Columbia, TN., 05/10/93)

295. A man fleeding Houston police made a fatal mistake when he jumped through the window of a home owned by an armed citizen. Awakened by the noise, the homeowner grabbed his gun and, finding the intruder armed with a pistol, shot and killed him. (The Post, Houston, TX., 04/07/93)

September, 1993

296. Fired after only five days on the job, a former employee with a long criminal record returned to Roy Briehler's Ewing, New Jersey, plant market armed with Mace and a knife and intent on robbery. Briehler and the man struggled, but when the man attempted to use the Mace, Briehler pulled a .38 and fatally shot him. The local prosecutor said no charges were planned. (The Trentonian, Trenton, NJ, 05/14/93)

297. "I threw a lot of lead at him," was how Oyster Bay, New York, jeweler Ralph Caggiano described his encounter with an armed robber. When the armed man entered the ship and announced a robbery, Caggiano scooped a .38 revolver out of his desk drawer and fired through a glass partition. The would-be bandit was slightly wounded and fled, but was quickly caught. "He had a right to use deadly physical force," said the local police commander. (Newsday, Long Island, NY, 04/01/93)

298. "I'd rather see her on that floor than me on that floor," said a North Oakland, California, resident who shot a woman who threatened him with a meat cleaver. The man, who has no legs, was watching television when the woman rushed in. When she brandished the cleaver at him, he fired, seriously wounding her. Police said the woman was wanted in connection with a string of robberies. (The Tribune, Oakland, CA, 04/21/93)

299. "I figured if they were going to shoot me, I was going to go down shooting them," was 70-year-old James Kelly's assessment of the armed robbery that occurred at the Indianapolis, Indiana, motel where he works. Kelly pulled a .357 Mag. when two men entered the hostelry and announced a robbery. Firing twice, Kelly wounded one of the bandits and held both for police. (The Star, Indianapolis, IN, 06/30/93)

300. Thinking about lunch and the poison ivy on his feet, Eddie Roscoe stopped by his house in Albemarle, North Carolina, and interrupted a burglary. Two men fled, but the third headed toward a bedroom, with Roscoe in pursuit. Cornered, the burglar turned and fired a shot, wounding Roscoe in the hand and side. After a struggle, Roscoe picked up a shotgun, loaded it and held the would-be crook for police, who also apprehended the accomplices. (The Herald, Bradenton, FL, 06/06/93)

301. His suspicions aroused by a customer's unseasonably heavy dress, a Westtown, Pennsylvania, gas station attendant was ready when the man drew a pistol and demanded money. Instead of complying, the former Marine pulled his own licensed gun and fired at the gunman. Apparently wounded, the thug fled. (The Daily Local News, West Chester, PA, 05/01/93)

302. Pounding and screaming outside her Colorado Springs home early one morning led Dorby Eggert to pick up her pistol. Even though she warned an intruder several times, he broke through two doors. When he entered the kitchen, Eggert fired once, mortally wounding him. (The Gazette Telegraph, Colorado Springs, CO, 07/10/93)

303. John Blair kept his father's old police revolver in his Jacksonville, Florida, home partially out of sentiment. But the gun provided yeoman's service when a felon tried to force his way into the home while Blair's wife Barbara was home alone. She got the gun and, as the intruder tried to enter through a window, fired, seriously wounding him. The man had been jailed twice on burglary convictions, but both times had been released to ease prison overcrowding. (The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, FL, 05/28/93)

304. An hour-long robbery spree by a man armed with a shotgun was abruptly halted in Bradenton, Florida, when the intended victim turned the tables and shot his assailant. The thug demanded money and fired a blast at a service station clerk, but missed. The clerk returned fire with a .45 and wounded his attacker. The crook fled, but was apprehended by the police, who followed the criminal's blood trail. (The Herald, Bradenton, FL, 06/06/93)

305. Fired from his job at a work camp, an Alaska man decided to exact revenge by getting a rifle from his truck and going on a shooting spree. He was stopped before he could hurt anyone when another employee pulled a .44 Mag. and shot him in the ankle. (The Daily News, Anchorage, AK, 05/05/93)

306. While the situation ended without incident, armed citizen Michael Acree stood ready to lend a hand when a police officer stopped a carload of unruly teenagers outside his Salem, Connecticut, home. Noticing the youths scuffling with the officer, Acree retrieved his pistol and went out onto his lawn. When the youths saw Acree and his handgun, they calmed down and the situation ended peaceably. Acree earned the appreciation both of town officials and the officer. (The Bulletin, Norwich, CT, 05/22/93)

307. Beaten in a robbery several months before, the owner of a San Bernardino, California, pizza shop started carrying a pistol to work. It came in handy when a pair of masked thugs attempted to rob the store. When the pair started tying up the staff, the owner walked to a storeroom, called police and got the gun. When the crooks noticed him, they started shooting. Returning fire, the owner killed one and wounded the other. (The Sun, San Bernardino, CA, 05/27/93)

October, 1993

308. Police said an Irvine, California, homeowner who shot a croquet- mallet-wielding thug in his home acted within his rights to defend himself. Jonathan Clark and his wife were awakened by breaking glass in their home. While his wife called police, Clark got his .357 and went into the hallway and saw the man breaking a window. When the intruder ignored an order to leave, Clark shot him in the wrist, putting him to flight. (The Orange County Register, Santa Ana, CA 05/29/93)

309. Charles James returned to his Hot Springs, Arkansas, home and noticed signs that someone might be in the house. James got a revolver and called loudly for whoever was in the house to surrender, but when he got no response, went outside, slamming the door loudly. James hid outside, and when a masked burglar--an acquaintance--exited the home, James held him at gunpoint for police. (The Sentinel-Record, Hot Springs, AR, 05/27/93)

310. Startled awake by the sound of his front door being kicked in, Phoenix resident Fidel Zabala pulled a .44 Mag. from underneath his mattress and opened the door to his bedroom. Greeted by gunfire that wounded him in the hip and arm, Zabala returned fire. Zabala and the intruder grappled briefly, but the gunman's wounds proved to be mortal. (The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, AZ, 07/02/93)

311. Eugene DeMayo was behind the counter of his South Bronx, New York, sporting goods store when several youths, one armed with a sawed-off shotgun, burst into the store. Instead of handing over his wares, DeMayo pulled his licensed .38 and fired, mortally wounding the shotgun toter. Two other thugs fled, and no charges were planned against DeMayo. (The Post, New York, NY, 07/26/93)

312. NRA-certified shooting instructor Greg Ferris drew from the lessons he usually teaches when three armed gang members invaded his San Antonio, Texas, gunshop. Ferris was at his workbench when the gangsters entered and charged the counter. Ferris grabbed his .38 Super target pistol and opened up when one missed him with a shotgun blast. In the ensuing battle, which also involved shop employee, Mike Falcon, one robber was killed and another wounded. Ferris, a former policeman, said, "We cannot ask police to provide individualized personal protection. We have to rely on our own resources to defend outselves." (The Express-News, San Antonio, TX, 05/21/93)

313. "The law can't take guns away from criminals, and the law wasn't there to help me that day, so I had to help myself," said Sharon Murray of Shelby, North Carolina, after an enraged man smashed the window of her car. Murray had stopped at a red light to adjust her son's seat and waved the truck behind her through. Instead of going around, the driver hopped out, screaming, and punched through her window. Murray pulled her pistol and, after a brief standoff, the man fled. (The Gazette, Gastonia, NC, 08/01/93)

314. Marine Cpl. Rayna Ross of Woodbridge, Virginia, might be dead if a waiting period had been in effect. Instead, the instant check system in place in that state allowed her to defend her life against a former boyfriend three days after she purchased a pistol. The man, a Marine under orders to stay away from Ross because of previous assaults and threats, broke through a door and rushed into her bedroom with a bayonet. Ross fired twice, mortally wounding him. The shooting was ruled to be a case of self-defense. (The Potomac News, Woodbridge, VA, 07/02/93)

315. Apparently intent on assaulting his ex-girlfriend, a Columbia, South Carolina, man instead ended up dead. The intruder climbed a drainpipe and burst through the woman's bedroom window and began to fight with her and her friend, Larry Cannon. During the scuffle, the woman passed a revolver to Cannon, who shot their attacker in the neck, mortally wounding him. The shooting was ruled justifiable. (The State, Columbia, SC, 06/09/93)

316. Houston has seen a rash of breakins in which criminals pose as police. So Jack Idlett didn't believe the men who were kicking in the front door of his home at 5:30 a.m. When the homeowner demanded identification, they fired. Idlett returned fire, and the pair fled. The robberies have led many residents to buy guns. "We are all armed and know how to use it," a neighbor said. (The Post, Houston, TX, 06/12/93)

317. Margaret Harris was walking up the steps to her Memphis, Tennessee, home when a vagrant with a criminal record grabbed her and threatened to kill her. Harris, 66, struggled with the intruder in the house until she was able to get her .38. Although the thug never lost his grip, she fired twice, killing him. Harris advice for other elderly women living alone? "Keep a handgun handy." (The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN, 06/21/93)

318. A Tacoma, Washington, robber thought a pawn shop would be a great place to steal guns, but he forgot to take the one held by an armed citizen. The armed crook announced a robbery and started shoveling handguns into a duffle bag, but when he turned, he was shot in the leg by a customer. He hobbled outside and collapsed. The customer held him at gunpoint until police arrived. (The News Tribune, Tacoma, WA, 05/11/93)

November, 1993

319. Eighty-year-old Lawrence Nipp is sick of "young punks taking the country over." So when his wife told him there was a youth in the back yard of his Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, home, Nipp retrieved his gun, told his wife to call police and confronted the teen. Unconvinced by his story claiming several men were trying to kill him, Nipp held the youthful criminal--who turned out to be a robbery suspect--for police at gunpoint. (The Sun-Sentinel, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 08/03/93)

320. Awakened by noises in his Manchester, New Hampshire, home, John Kazakis reached for his phone to call police. The phone was dead, however, so Kazakis picked up a rifle and went downstairs to investigate. When he saw a man take something from his mailbox and approach the house, Kazakis challenged him, and when that had no effect, fired a warning shot into the ground, prompting the man to flee. Responding police found that phone lines had been pulled out, apparently in a attempt to disable the home's burglar alarm. (The Citizen, Laconia, NH, 07/15/93)

321. William Clark was tending the Indianapolis area liquor store where he works when a man laid a dollar bill on the counter to pay for a beer. Before Clark could take the money, however, he pulled a revolver, demanded money and Clark's gun. Clark started toward the cash register, then pulled his own 9mm and fired, killing the robber. (The Star, Indianapolis, IN, 08/13/93)

322. Alerted to an intruder's presence in her Dublin, Georgia, apartment when he began beating on her locked bedroom door, Dorothy Smith, 64, picked up her pistol. The man finally broke the door and entered the room, but Smith convinced him to leave by firing a shot. (The Courier-Herald, Dublin, GA, 07/26/93)

323. Count NRA member Dale Tipton of Hutchinson, Kansas, among those who have defended themselves with a gun and have lost their jobs for doing so. Tipton was delivering pizzas for Pizza Hut after a range session with his AR-15 when three teens tried to rob him. When one of the teens threatened him with a gun, Tipton hopped back into his car and grabbed his rifle. "As soon as they saw it, they were trucking," said Tipton. Although the incident occurred only a month after a unarmed driver was slain in Wichita, and police said he did nothing wrong, Pizza Hut fired Tipton. (The News, Hutchinson, KS, 08/17/93)

324. "All of us were convinced he was going to kill us all," said Redwood City, California, grocer John Pacheco of a man who brandished a pistol, knocked a customer to the floor and began raving. Pacheco grabbed his .45 from its hiding place and shot twice. One bullet found its mark, killing the gunman, who had been released from prison only two months before. (The Mercury News, San Jose, CA, 07/23/93)

325. Awakened by noises, a Yuma, Arizona, homeowner got his gun before he went to investigate. When the resident was confronted by the intruder, he fired. Wounded, the interloper fled but was apprehended by police. (The Daily Sun, Yuma, AZ, 08/10/93)

326. An attempted home invasion was thwarted when Mary Williams decided the man who had asked to use her phone had something else in mind. Williams, of Haines City, Florida, went to get her .38. When she returned, the man was beating her husband over the head with the phone. Williams ordered him from the home, but when he ignored her, she fired, mortally wounding him. (The News Chief, Winter Haven, FL, 07/25/93)

327. Bill Faith used a larger caliber tool to defend himself after he was attacked in his New Albany, Indiana, liquor store by a man wielding a shovel and hammer. Although suffering a head wound, Faith was able to pull his pistol and fire three shots. Wounded, the assailant ran, but was apprehended at a local hospital. "`When a man ... hits you in the head with a shovel, you shoot him," said the local police chief. (The Tribune, New Albany, IN, 04/14/93)

328. Willie Harris let a man use the phone in his Smithfield, Alabama, home, but when the man returned several hours later, he wasn't interested in a return call. Attacked by the man an an accomplice, Harris managed to retrieve a pistol he keeps in the house for personal protection and fired, wounding both attackers, one mortally. (The News, Birmingham, AL, 08/23/93)

329. A Zion, Illinois, restaurant owner was ready when a strong-arm robber made his second appearance in two weeks. The thug, who was found to have cocaine in his blood, jumped the counter of Bernice Thurmond's eatery, shoved her aside and started grabbing money from the cash register. Thurmond grabbed a broom and hit the robber several times, then snatched up a handgun and fired, critically wounding him. The state's attorney said the shooting appeared justified. (The Tribune, Chicago, IL, 07/05/93)

330. A late-night robbery attempt in a San Bernardino, California, pizza shop ended when an employee shot it out with the robbers and killed one. The armed crooks entered the shop through a back door and started binding the employees with tape. The employee pulled his gun, and in an exchange of shots, mortally wounded one and wounded the other. (The Press-Enterprise, San Bernardino, CA, 05/27/93)

December, 1993

331. Connie Crowe was roused to action one evening when she heard sounds of struggle and screams coming from her upstairs neighbor's Franklin, Tennessee, apartment. Crowe grabbed her revolver given to her by her father and went into the hall where she confronted an intruder. When he came rushing down the steps, Crowe ordered him to stop, and, when he didn't, shot and wounded him. "I thought 'he's not getting out of here if my neighbor's up there dead,'", Crowe said. Police said Crowe would not be charged. The wounded man faced an attempted rape charge. (The Tennessean, Nashville, TN, 10/06/93)

332. Stalked and assaulted by a former boyfriend, Terry Jackson of Albany, Georgia, feared for her life even though she had sworn out arrest warrants for the man. Deciding she needed more protection than the police could give her, the mother of five purchased a pistol at a pawnshop. Less than 12 hours later, Jackson shot and killed the man as he tried to break into her home. Police arrested and charged her with murder, but the district attorney ordered her release, saying "It does seem to be a clear-cut case of self-defense. If there had been any question in the facts I was given, I would not have acted so quickly." (The Herald, Albany, GA, 10/06/93)

333. Picking the same house to burglarize twice in an hour proved fatal for a thief in Kansas City, Missouri. Alerted to the first attempt, the owner of the home, a Kansas City woman, was at the house when the man tried again. Hearing a noise, the woman investigated, found the man, and fired several shots from her pistol, mortally wounding the intruder, who turned out to be the woman's cousin, a convicted burglar. (The Star, Kansas City, MO, 08/24/93)

334. It was something of a comical situation. The 300-lb. "customer" was holding a 2" knife, while the Colorado Springs liquor-store clerk was holding a gun. It all started when the man asked for a bottle of wine, then pulled a knife instead of cash, prompting the clerk to grab one of the handguns kept in the store. After a brief standoff during which he put the knife away and tried to make friends, the hefty would-be crook fled empty-handed. (The Gazette Telegraph, Colorado Springs, CO, 08/28/93)

335. "I'm just tired of people getting away with crime," was Jeffrey Rosenberg's assessment of why he kept a vigil over his new Ford Mustang. Getting two pistols, Rosenberg, of Quincy, Massachusetts, kept a six-hour watch over the car. When he confronted two men checking out the car, one took a swipe at him with a screwdriver, and Rosenberg drew his handgun and held them a gunpoint for police. (The Sun, Lowell, MA, 07/25/93)

336. "I knew I only had one thing to do, and that was to go for my gun," said Menlo Park, California, grocery-store-owner John Pacheco, who was forced to shoot and kill an armed robber in his store. The crook entered, pulled a pistol and demanded money, prompting Pacheco to grab a .45 from under the counter and fire. The dead man had a long criminal history and was on parole for a firearms offense. (The Chronicle, San Francisco, CA, 07/23/93)

337. Emile Shermer, 82, was in his Fairhope, Alabama, home when a teenager broke in and tried to rob him at knifepoint. Instead of complying with the delinquent's demands for cash, Shermer pulled a pistol and shot him in the arm, then held him for police. (The Press Register, Baldwin, AL, 08/09/93)

338. A Lexington, Kentucky, man had the competition seriously outgunned and didn't hesitate to prove it. Finding a man trying to break into his car in a parking lot, he ordered the burglar to stop. Instead of complying, the would-be thief pointed a small pistol at the car-owner, who pulled his .45 and shot the gunman in the stomach. (The Herald-Leader, Lexington, KY, 08/10/93)

339. Carl Spence jumped to action upon finding a strange pickup truck in his driveway and two strangers walking around his Jackson, Mississippi, area home. Spence blocked the truck with his car, ran into the house and called 911. He then grabbed his shotgun and went back outside, where the pair was trying to escape. They stopped and waited for police when they saw Spence's shotgun. (The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, MS, 09/11/93)

340. Win Coburn of Bloomfield, Missouri, returned home to find three men--wanted by a police dragnet--ransacking his residence. Two of the fugitives fled, but Coburn held the third at gunpoint until police collected him. His accomplices were also soon captured. "We believe these arrests may have cleared up to 10 burglaries in surrounding counties," said Stoddard County Sheriff Steve Fish. (The Daily Statesman, Dexter, MO, 08/03/93)

341. A 14-year-old San Francisco boy proved more than a match for a gunman who, along with a man armed with a knife, forced his way into the family home. The criminal ran upstairs to confront and demand money from the boy's parents. Pulling his own gun, the father was shot in the chest and dropped the pistol as he struggled with his assailant. The boy ran upstairs, grabbed the family gun and killed his father's attacker. The other man fled. (The Chronicle, San Francisco, CA, 09/09/93)

January, 1994

342. San Francisco bus driver Hal Womack professes to be a peaceful man, but he started carrying a pistol after a 1982 attack left him with permanent eye injuries. Womack had to use the gun when he was again attacked after trying to put two profane men off the bus. Womack stepped off the bus after his attacker fled, but the man returned and threatened him again, prompting Womack to pull his gun and fire twice, wounding the man in the leg. (The Orange County Register, Santa Ana, CA 10/30/93)

343. Christopher Clouse is a Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, insurance agent who obviously believes that a pistol also constitutes a good policy. After talking with Clouse, a "customer" in the agency pulled a pistol and demanded money. Clouse got cash from the office, but also got his gun. After a brief struggle, Clouse shot the robber, putting him to flight. He was arrested later at a hospital where he had gone for treatment. (The Herald, Miami, FL, 10/30/93)

344. Robert Gehl was asleep in his Curtis Park, California, home, when two armed men forced their way inside. Awakened and alerted by the panic in his wife's voice, Gehl got a .357 Mag. revolver. When one intruder, with Gehl's wife in tow, burst through the bedroom door, Gehl ordered his wife to duck and fired twice, killing the man. The accomplice fled. (The Union, Sacramento, CA, 09/24/93)

345. Lamar Williams was working in the office of the Cleveland restaurant he co-owns when two armed teenagers broke in. When Williams walked out of the office, one of the thugs shot him in the arm, but Williams was able to pull his own gun and return fire. The two criminals fled, but police picked up two wounded suspects at a local hospital. (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, OH, 09/18/93)

346. Abdel Ahmad moved to the United States to escape warfare in the Middle East, only to find himself at the front in the crime war in Phoenix. Held up at gunpoint, Ahmad "went a little crazy" and decided the robber wasn't going to escape. He grabbed his own gun, gave chase and after a shoot-out in which neither was hurt, held the crook at gunpoint for police, who affirmed Ahmad's actions. (The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, AZ, 10/22/93)

347. Awakened early one morning by his security system, Charles Tanner of Phoenix expected a cat to be the culprit, but took his .45 Colt just in case. Tanner opened his front door and found a man in his driveway. The man charged the homeowner and slammed through the screen door, prompting Tanner to fire four times, killing the intruder. "We had lots of firearms training. It all came back to me," said the former reserve county sheriff's deputy. (The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, AZ, 11/06/93)

348. Baltimore, Maryland, stockbroker John Slaughter was ready when a man broke into his home early one morning. Alerted by the sound of shattering glass downstairs, Slaughter got his shotgun and waited upstairs. Slaughter fired a fatal blast when the man came up the stairs and charged. Police, saying Slaughter acted in self-defense, expected no charges. He had lost more than $5,000 in property during a burglary of his home earlier this year. (The Sun, Baltimore, MD, 09/21/93)

349. Joe Carter was driving down a Hillsborough County street near St. Petersburg, Florida, one evening when a man jumped out and blocked his way. The man and two accomplices began pounding on and rocking Carter's truck, prompting Carter to draw his pistol and warn the trio away. When they didn't take the hint, Carter rolled the window down and fired a shot, wounding one man. Carter alerted police, who arrested a wounded suspect. (The Times, St. Petersburg, FL, 10/05/93)

350. Crime doesn't pay, even when you're married to your partner, a Washington, North Carolina, couple found out. Robert Griffin woke up early one morning to a commotion in his yard. When he looked outside, he saw the couple loading his lounge chairs into their van. Griffin armed himself and held the married perpetrators at gunpoint until police arrived. (The Daily News, Washington, NC, 10/22/93)

351. Aaron Smith was waiting outside the Crystal Springs, Mississippi, convenience store where his wife works when he heard her scream. He started inside, where a man was rifling the till and holding a gun to his wife's chest, but retreated when the gunman pointed the pistol at him. Smith grabbed a 12-ga. shotgun from his car, and when the crook exited the store, ordered him to stop. Instead of complying, the man raised his gun, and Smith killed him. (The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, MS, 10/18/93)

352. Sue Atkins of Durham, North Carolina, appeared in this column in February 1993 after shooting a man who tried to rob her Western Union office/fish store. Atkins didn't need to shoot the man who attempted to rob the store this time--her fifth encounter with criminals--but she did chase him out. The man entered, asking about fish, but then threatened to kill Atkins. She pulled her handgun and chased the man, but lost him. Police promptly arrested a suspect. "I will fight back," said Atkins. (The Morning Star, Wilmington, NC, 10/06/93)

353. A female clerk at a Stamford, Connecticut, area store noticed a man stuffing two videos into his pants before coming to the counter to pay for a magazine. When confronted, the man denied having the videos, so the clerk reached over the counter and grabbed them. When the "customer" threatened her, saying "you're sorry, you're dead," the clerk pulled a pistol and ordered him from the store. Police caught up with the would-be shoplifter a few blocks away, and noted that the clerk had a permit for the gun. (The Advocate, Stamford, CT, 10/25/93)

February, 1994

354. Joseph D'Angelo's early morning sleep was shattered when his neighbor began screaming that a man was breaking into her Glascow, Delaware, area home. D'Angelo grabbed his gun and ran outside, where he found an intruder in the woman's yard. D'Angelo ordered the man to halt, but fired a fatal shot when the man approached him. The State Attorney General's office said D'Angelo would not face charges. (The News Journal, Wilmington, DE, 12/01/93)

355. Only two days after browsers had asked for details on the store's inventory and alarm system, John Sobran's Pittsburgh-area jewelry store was robbed at gunpoint. The robbery didn't go entirely as planned, however. As one thug grappled with Sobran's mother and threatened her with a pistol, Sobran emerged from a back office, wounded the would-be robber with a .45 and ended the attack. Two accomplices fled in a stolen car. "As far as I am concerned [Sobran] didn't do anything justifying criminal prosecution. No charges are forthcoming," said the local police chief. (The Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, PA, 12/2/93)

356. Intent on protecting his sister from a former suitor who threatened her, Oroville, California, area resident Glen King armed himself with a 12-ga. shotgun and went to her house. When the former boyfriend tried to force his way into the home, King fired once through a rear door, wounding the man and stopping the intrusion. Police recommended no charges against King. (The Enterprise-Record, Chico, CA, 11/16/93)

357. An attempted robbery at a Palmdale, California, market ended in death for a teenage robber when the victim and the clerk in another store pulled guns and fought back. Robbed at gunpoint by two of the teens, the shopkeeper grabbed his gun and followed them outside. When he ordered them to stop, they turned and fired. Return fire from the two vendors mortally wounded one of the crooks. The other two fled but were apprehended several hours later. (The Antelope Valley Press, Palmdale, CA, 11/11/93)

358. "One of the patrons in the store got the drop on them," was how one police officer described the scene at a Waterbury, Connecticut, convenience store after a customer shot and killed one of two armed robbers. The men, armed with a sawed-off shotgun and pistol, entered the store, but before they could even lay their hands on the till, the customer pulled his .380 and fired. The other would-be crook fled. (The Republican-American, Waterbury, CT, 11/15/93)

359. Next-door neighbors Thomas Graham and Ken Whitson both know the language spoken by their dogs. Recognizing their pets' warning growls, the Bradenton, Florida, men, without knowing what the other was doing, went to investigate. Before leaving the house, Whitson grabbed a shotgun, and when the neighbors converged from opposite sides of the driveway, they captured a 41-year-old prowler between them. He was held for police. (The Herald, Bradenton, FL, 10/27/93)

360. After checking out several apartments in the neighborhood, a would-be burglar attempted to break into Nathan Hunsinger's Savannah, Georgia, home. It proved to be a fatal mistake. Awakened by the noise of a back window being jimmied, Hunsinger warned the man away, then fired when his warning shot was ignored. Hunsinger's shots killed the man. Police said Hunsinger would face no charges. (The Morning News/Evening Press, Savannah, GA, 11/13/93)

361. Bessie Jones is 92 and confined to a wheelchair, hardly able to defend herself against the human predators that inhabit her Chicago neighborhood. What makes Jones their match, however, is her handgun. After a young thug broke and wheeled her from room to room looking for valuables, Jones managed to get her gun and warned the teenager off. When he ignored her, Jones fired and killed him. (The Sun Times, Chicago, IL, 11/09/93)

362. Walking home from a Bible study class, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, resident Keith Wallace was accosted by a man who claimed to have a gun and demanded money. Reaching into his pocket, Wallace produced his own, licensed, pistol, prompting the man to flee. (The Journal-Gazette, Ft. Wayne, IN, 11/13/93)

363. A clerk at a Greenville, South Carolina, pawnshop didn't hesitate when two men entered the store and announced a robbery. Instead of waiting to see what the men would next do, the clerk jumped behind a partition, pulled a handgun and fired a shot. The two men ran from the store, uninjured. Police quickly apprehended two suspects, plus four suspected accomplices, confiscating two handguns. (The News, Greenville, SC, 11/12/93)

364. "If I could have got my shotgun, they wouldn't have got nowhere," said William Odell about the men who apparently tried to burglarize his Roanoke, Virginia, area home. Investigating strange noises outside the house, Odell saw two armed men on his porch. When one fired a shot, Odell jumped back inside and grabbed his own revolver, prepared to fight it out, but the duo was beating a hasty retreat. To help them along, Odell shot out several windows of their getaway car. (The Times & World-News, Roanoke, VA, 10/16/93)

March, 1994

365. As one young thug beat Rochester, New York, store owner Boleck Slepecki, the other raided the cash register. Even though his face was bloodied and his glasses smashed, Slepecki was able to get his .357 out of his waistband and fired twice. One of his shots hit the door frame, the other hit his attacker in the leg. Both robbers fled but were quickly apprehended. (The Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, NY, 12/28/93)

366. Taking care of his banking at a bank in Carrollton, Maryland, Anthony Campagna was startled to see a man bolt out the door and hear a teller yelling she had been robbed. Campagna ran after the man and began chasing him on foot. After a short chase, Campagna drew his licensed handgun, fired a warning shot, and when the robber tripped, held him for police. (The Sun, Baltimore, MD, 12/24/93)

367. A trio of juveniles obviously expected easy pickings when they attempted an armed robbery at a Phenix City, Alabama, convenience store early one morning. But the clerk on duty had a different idea. After the trio kicked in the door and fired two blasts from a shotgun, the clerk ducked behind the counter and came back up with a gun. In an exchange of shots, he mortally wounded one would-be robber. Two companions fled and were arrested later. (The Ledger-Enquirer, Columbus, GA, 12/19/93)

368. A Milwaukee woman didn't hesitate to use her gun when, upon investigating a noise in her home late one night, she found a man breaking in and already halfway through the window he had smashed. The woman fired her .38 three times, hitting the man in the chest and killing him. The district attorney's office said no charges would be filed. (The Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, WI, 12/29/93)

369. On the lam from a massive police manhunt after an armed robbery, a convicted felon grabbed Nadav Joshua as he stepped out the front door of his Cypress, California, home and took him hostage. Joshua ordered his wife to run, but she screamed for help and, armed with a knife and antique gun, attacked her husband's abductor without effect. But neighbor Mike Weiser rushed across the street with his shotgun. He ordered the abductor to freeze. When the warning went unheeded and the man raised his gun, Weiser killed him. (The Orange County Register, Santa Ana, CA, 12/31/93)

370. A Miami family was out shopping for a piano Christmas Eve, and when they stopped the car at a red light, a man smashed the car's back window and attempted to grab a purse off the back seat. The driver pulled his gun and shot the would-be thief. Two accomplices fled. (The Herald, Miami, FL, 12/24/93)

371. Tending to chores outside her Willoughby, Ohio, area home, Patricia Tycast was startled to see what appeared to be a flashlight in a second-floor window. Walking next door, she told her father, William Barrett, that someone might be in her house. Barrett grabbed his .38, and went to Tycast's house, where he found two men fleeing the home. Barrett helped them along with five shots from his revolver. (The News-Herald, Willoughby, OH, 12/20/93)

372. Asleep on the couch, a Hartsgrove, Ohio, woman was startled awake by suspicious noises in her laundry room. She grabbed her husband's rifle and confronted an intruder, holding him at gunpoint. While she was on the phone with police, however, the man fled, with an accomplice in tow. Two suspects were quickly apprehended. (The Star Beacon, Ashtabula, OH, 01/05/94)

373. A fixation proved to be fatal to a Tennessee man when his former girlfriend armed herself. When the man broke into Geneva Mason's Ten Mile, Tennessee, home and threatened to kill her four-year-old daughter with a knife, Mason fired several shots from her .38, striking him fatally. (The News-Sentinel, Knoxville, TN, 12/23/93)

374. Two brothers were using a Newport News, Virginia, car wash when a man approached, brandished a gun and demanded money. After confronting the robber, who threatened him with a gun, the older brother drew his 9mm and fired several times, mortally wounding the thug. The dead man was a convicted drug offender whose sentence had been suspended. (The Daily Press, Hampton Roads, VA, 01/06/94)

375. Guy Velardo is a veteran of World War II and six robberies at his Wakefield, Massachusetts, pharmacy, so he doesn't rattle easily. When a man walked in one evening and demanded prescription drugs and threatened to shoot Velardo if he didn't comply, the druggist simply pulled a .380 -- a war trophy -- and fired a single shot. The man fled, but a wounded suspect was arrested at a local hospital. (The Globe, Boston, MA, 11/19/93)

376. A court order against her former boyfriend was no sure protection, but Cheryl Belshe's handgun was. When the man, who had a history of violence against girlfriends, violated the order and broke into Belshe's Norman, Oklahoma, home, she shot and wounded him. "This is the type of case that the 'Make My Day' law was intended to allow a victim to protect themselves in their home," said the local district attorney, who added that Belshe would face no charges. (The Daily Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, OK, 12/03/93)

April, 1994

377. In the finest tradition of armed citizens who take on crime in their communities, Texan Travis Neel helped save a wounded Harris County deputy sheriff's life. Witnessing the shooting by one of a trio of Houston gang members after a traffic stop just west of Houston, Neel -- who was on his way to his pistol range -- pulled his gun and fired, driving the officer's assailants away. An off-duty sheriff's deputy also came on the scene and joined Neel in covering the deputy, whose life was saved by his body armor. The trio was captured after a manhunt. (The Post, Houston, TX, 01/22/94)

378. Kelvin Marion was stopped at a red light in Indianapolis when a man tried to force his way into the car, then started pounding on the windows, breaking one. Marion got out, and when the man attempted to snatch his necklace, Marion pulled his licensed pistol and fired once, wounding his assailant. (The Star, Indianapolis, IN, 01/19/94)

379. Don Heaton was only too happy to show furniture to three men who entered his Idaho Falls, Idaho, store. But he became suspicious when he noticed that one of the trio had disappeared. Investigating, Heaton caught the man with his hand in the till. The man ran from the store, but Heaton grabbed a pistol from under the counter and held the other two for police. (The Post Register, Idaho Falls, ID, 02/02/94)

380. James Humphreys was napping on Christmas Eve when he was startled awake by the sound of shattering glass in his Hulmeville, Pennsylvania, home. Humphreys grabbed his .38 and went downstairs, discovering a man who had just crawled through a broken window. Humphreys fired a shot, and the man fled. (The Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA, 12/30/93)

381. After his home was burglarized, Alan Jones reluctantly purchased a handgun, little knowing he would use it a month later to break up a robbery attempt. Jones, of Benge, Washington, was driving home when he saw a farmer neighbor apparently helping two men get their truck out of a ditch. Jones stopped to help, but came under fire from one of the two strangers. Jones grabbed his own gun and fired back, prompting the duo to flee in the neighbor's truck. One of the pair, a suspect in a number of other burglaries in the area, was caught in the ensuing manhunt. (The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, WA, 01/27/94)

382. A career criminal didn't let the fact that he was in a cast, the result of a hip replacement a month before, keep him from crawling through the window of Elaine Wingren's Portland, Oregon, home. When Wingren returned home, she saw the man, who then crawled through the basement window and headed toward her. Wingren screamed, and fearing that the burglar had armed himself with one of her guns, pulled her licensed pistol and shot him to death as he came at her. The dead housebreaker, out on parole, had a lengthy criminal record. (The Oregonian, Portland, OR, 02/06/94)

383. "I had gotten the wood stove full of wood, and it was too hot to stay inside, so I went outside and I saw a flash of light," said Cottonwood, California, resident John Grunder. Thinking someone was trying to steal gas from his shed, Grunder took his 12-ga., investigated and discovered a man hiding by his fence. When the man fired on him, Grunder returned a blast from his shotgun. Neither man was hit. Police apprehended the gunman, who was wanted in connection with a murder, in a manhunt the next day. (The Record Searchlight, Redding, CA, 01/24/94)

384. Mike Martin of Copper Fork, West Virginia, grabbed his .30-30 and went to investigate after noticing suspicious activity early one morning at the home of a neighbor who had been killed in an accident several weeks earlier. Martin found several men removing items from the house. He got the drop on two and held them for police, who also caught two more suspects. (The Star, Ravenswood, WV, 01/29/94)

385. An Albany, Oregon, woman bought a shotgun after her estranged husband threatened to kill her. It saved her life less than a month later. The woman's husband, armed with two handguns and ignoring a restraining order, showed up at the house and started shooting, wounding the woman. Brad Adamson, a friend, got the shotgun and fired a blast that killed her attacker. (The Democrat-Herald, Albany, OR, 01/17/94)

386. "With a store like this, I need a gun to protect myself and my family," said Worcester, Massachusetts, market owner Hassan Elmaola. Elmaola's unease with one of his customers was confirmed when the man quietly demanded money, then flashed a handgun. Instead of complying, Elmaola pushed his 15-year-old son out of the way and grabbed his pistol. The would-be robber broke and ran. (The Telegram & Gazette, Worcester, MA, 01/24/94)

387. Patsy Tankersley's attackers made a big mistake when the held a knife to her young daughter's throat and ordered the Frayser, Tennessee, woman to go to her bedroom and disrober. Tankersley turned the tables when she got her revolver and started firing. The duo fled, but were quickly caught. One was jailed, the other was hospitalized with a chest wound. (The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN, 01/26/94)

May, 1994

388. The burglar who broke into Joseph Thompson's Saranac, Michigan, home hit Thompson in the face with a steel pipe as he slept, breaking Thompson's jaw. But that didn't stop Thompson from nabbing his assailant and holding him for police. The crook had stopped at the home earlier in the evening, professing car trouble, and returned later when Thompson was asleep and assaulted him. After a struggle, Thompson managed to get a rifle and held the intruder for police. (The Press, Grand Rapids, MI, 02/12/94)

389. "He picked the wrong guy to pick on," was one Washington Court House, Ohio, resident's assessment of an armed robber who was killed by his intended mark. The armed, masked man entered the town pharmacy and demanded money, prompting pharmacist Larry Lehman to shoot and mortally wound the gunman. (The Dispatch, Columbus, OH, 02/24/94)

390. Brenda Jones, a 24-year-old University of Virginia graduate student, was leaving her Charlottesville, Virginia, apartment when a man grabbed her from behind. During the ensuing struggle, Jones and her attacker fell back into the apartment, where Jones managed to break free of her assailant. Jones sprinted to her bedroom and grabbed her revolver. Training it on the criminal, she demanded he leave, which he did. (The Daily Progress, Charlottesville, VA, 02/11/94)

391. Bernie Ames, a Hempstead, New York, bookstore owner, didn't count on his 69th birthday being quite so exciting. Ames was behind the counter of his store when a crack addict walked in and demanded money. Ames threw a bag of money at the robber and pulled his own .38 and fired. Wounded, the crook fled, but was quickly apprehended. Police, affirming Ames' actions, said the drug abuser had a long criminal record. (Newsday, Long Island, NY, 02/11/94)

392. "This is my ID and this is a robbery," a teenager told San Diego liquor store owner Norman Mansour while drawing a gun and demanding money. In response, Mansour grabbed his wrist, and the culprit sprayed the store with bullets. Reaching under the counter for his revolver, Mansour traded shots with the teen and his accomplice. The pair fled, but two suspects were captured the next day, apparently as they tried to retrieve the handgun they had abandoned before fleeing the store. (The Union-Tribune, San Diego, CA, 02/03/94)

393. Robert White was reading his morning paper at this Tacoma, Washington, home when his wife informed him there was an intruder in the basement. White, 73, got his revolver and went downstairs, where he found the housebreaker. He knelt at White's order, but then grabbed a bar stool and threw it. White ducked. As the assailant picked up another stool and prepared to throw it, White fired, killing him. (The Post-Intelligencer, Seattle, WA, 02/10/94)

394. After an attempted break-in at her Charleston, West Virginia, home four years ago, 74-year-old Ruby McFarland decided to keep her antique revolver loaded. She recently needed it to scare away two would-be robbers who cut her phone lines and tried to break into her home. As the two tried to get in through the front door, McFarland fired two shots, prompting their flight. "They were going to get me and I wasn't going to let them," said McFarland. (The Daily Mail, Charleston, WV, 02/09/94)

395. A handgun provided the margin of protection Camden, New Jersey, store owner Raoji Prajapati needed when a thief armed with a knife burst into the business, threatened Prajapati's wife with the knife and demanded money. Prajapati drew his pistol and fired, killing the crook. The local prosecutor cleared Prajapati. (The Courier-Post, Cherry Hill, NJ, 02/06/94)

396. Returning home one evening, a Garland, Texas, woman was set upon by an armed robber in her driveway. Witnessing the developing situation, the woman's husband confronted the thug, who ordered him back inside the house to get money. The homeowner complied, but also retrieved his shotgun. When the criminal fired at him with a .25 cal. pistol, he responded with a 12-ga. blast that killed the crook. (The Morning News, Dallas, TX, 03/03/94)

397. Brenda Lackey runs a convenience store in Gastonia, North Carolina. She is also a former police officer. The man who attempted to rob the store apparently didn't know that. Suspecting the "customer" might try to rob her, Lackey was ready when he demanded money. She drew her 9 mm -- a retirement present commemorating her 16 years as an officer -- and chased him from the store. "I'll always be a police officer," she commented. (The Gaston Gazette, Gastonia, NC, 02/03/94)

398. Bob Weaver, owner of the Old West Gun Room in El Cerrito, California, probably thought he was seeing double when twin brothers entered his shop and, after feigning a bit of shopping, pulled handguns and announced a robbery. Weaver knocked the gun out of one's hand and then dove under the counter, where he grabbed his own pistol and started firing. The twins, both wounded, fled, but were quickly apprehended. (West County Times, Richmond, CA, 02/12/94)

399. Shelly Greenbaum returned to college to get a degree to help troubled youths. But she was forced to shoot and kill a troubled teenager when he robbed her at gunpoint in a Miami parking lot. Convinced the youthful criminal was going to end the robbery by killing her, Greenbaum pulled her .38 out of her back pocket and fired twice. The dead 19-year-old had juvenile and adult records, police said. (The Herald, Miami, FL, 03/04/94)

June, 1994

400. A father and son teamed up to make a burglar's chosen profession a bit more difficult. Daniel Bracken and his father, Walter Bracken, noticed a strange truck backed up to a family member's home near Albuquerque, so they went to investigate. Daniel was armed with a .30-30. When two intruders tried to run over the elder Bracken with the truck, the younger fired several shots from his rifle, wounding the driver. The other man fled. Police said Daniel Bracken appeared to have acted in self-defense. (The Journal, Albuquerque, NM, 03/11/94)

401. Rudely awakened when his girlfriend's former beau broke in and began to beat them both with a broomstick, Uhrichsville, Ohio, resident Dan Mazalic managed to get to a closet where he kept a loaded shotgun. When the intruder continued to beat Mazalic and his girlfriend, Mazalic fired a single blast, fatally wounding the assailant. The shooting ended a day in which the dead man had threatened the couple and apparently kicked in the door of Mazalic's home. (The Times Reporter, New Philadelphia, OH, 03/05/94)

402. Jim Dalton, 83, of Higbee, Missouri, was afraid that three men on his front porch were going to rob him, so he locked the door. He was proven correct when one of the men picked up an ax and started to hack his way through the door. Dalton armed himself, and when the men ignored his warnings and broke through the door, Dalton fired his shotgun, wounding one and routing all three. "I wouldn't prosecute a man who was defending his home from three ax-wielding hoodlums," said the local prosecutor. (The Daily Tribune, Columbia, MO, 03/11/94)

403. Hearing noises outside his Venice, California, home early one morning, Tak Cho readied his handgun, and took it with him when someone knocked on the door. Cho answered the knock, and when a man tried to force his way in, Cho fired, mortally wounding the intruder. (The Outlook, Venice, CA, 03/22/94)

404. A criminal couple who teamed up to rob a Durham, North Carolina, food store botched it badly when the clerk and his son got the drop on them. The woman held a razor knife to Charles Bailey's neck, but he threw her into a shelving unit and began struggling with her. When her accomplice lunged for the cash register, Harry Brockman, Bailey's stepfather, pulled a .357 and shot him in the shoulder. Brockman then helded subdue his son's attacker, and both would-be robbers were arrested. (The Herald-Sun, Durham, NC, 03/27/94)

405. Behind the counter at a Watsonville, California, convenience store, John Miller's evening was rudely interrupted when two men entered the store, demanded money and stabbed him several times. Miller pulled a 9 mm semi-auto and fired, ending the attack. Miller was hospitalized, his wounded attacker arrested. (Santa Cruz County Sentinel, Santa Cruz, CA, 03/29/94)

406. In what is becoming a trend on the west coast, John Ayler was forced to shoot a cougar that charged him and a friend. Noticing that his dogs were acting oddly, Ayler, of Arlington, Washington, put his gun in his belt, and with his friend went outside to look around. When, instead of fleeing, the cougar charged directly at the two men, Ayler pulled his gun and killed the cat. (The Herald, Everett, WA, 03/25/94)

407. Out of jail only seven weeks, a convicted burglar returned to his old habits; and an armed citizen ended his "career" permanently. The crook pounded on the door of Curtis Schnepp's Oregon City, Washington, house, breaking the door in the process. He also woke up Schnepp, who was taking a nap. Schnepp got his .357 and found the man crawling through the door. When the man advanced after being ordered to stop, Schnepp fired, mortally wounding him. Schnepp's actions were later affirmed by the county prosecutor. (The Daily News, Longview, WA, 03/31/94)

408. Ben and Kate Krantz, owners of a Nashville pawnshop, started wearing guns on the job after losing cash, jewelry and guns in a robbery. A month later, three armed men tried to rob the shop, but this time it turned out very differently. When the trio entered the shop, both Krantzes pulled their guns, and in an exchange of shots, killed one robber and wounded another. A police detective said the three were believed to be members of a local gang. (The Tennessean, Nashville, TN, 03/24/94)

409. Believing he was about to be fired from his job with a Fort Pierce, Florida, lawn-care business, a disgruntled employee got a gun and went to the home of his boss. But L.C. Salter, the owner and intended target, was also armed. When the employee pulled his gun, Salter grabbed his .38 out of his truck. In an exchange of shots, the assailant was wounded, while Salter escaped unscathed. (Florida Today, Melbourne, FL, 03/31/94)

410. Attempting to help a customer who had entered his Lancaster, Pennsylvania, store, Jose Medina bent over to get cooking oil off a shelf. As he did so, the "customer" whipped out a baseball bat and smashed Medina over the head several times. Although injured and bleeding from a large cut, Medina managed to grab a pistol from behind the counter, prompting the assailant to flee. (The New Era, Lancaster, PA, 03/22/94)

411. Uneasy after a man asked to use her phone, a Springfield, Missouri, woman told him to use one at a local convenience store. Suspicious, she got a pistol and put it nearby. A little later, expecting guests, she unlocked her front door, and the stranger entered. He threatened her with a knife and forced her to undress, but she was able to get the gun by claiming she had to use the bathroom. She was then able to fire at the would-be rapist, wounding him. He fled, but was quickly apprehended. (The News-Leader, Springfield, MO, 03/21/94)

July, 1994

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August, 1994

412. Philadelphian Michael Malloy knew he could be robbed while driving his newspaper delivery truck. That's why the 36-year-old former policeman carried his licensed .44 under his money apron. Then it happened. An armed man entered Malloy's truck and demanded money. Malloy gave him some, but the man insisted that Malloy surrender his money apron too. This gave Malloy the chance to pull his gun. He fired, striking the criminal three times in the side. No charges were filed against Malloy. (The Daily News, Philadelphia, PA, 05/23/94)

413. After her husband died in 1991, Ontario, Oregon, resident Patricia Ireland decided to learn to defend herself by enrolling in a women's gun class. Now she's glad she did. When she heard three men breaking into her home, Ireland called 911 and retrieved her .357 Mag. When one of the men started to break a window, Ireland let a round fly over his head. the perpetrators ran to their car and sped off. they were apprehended later. (Argus Observer, Ontario, OR, 04/25/94)

414. A Kansas City man had more than ring-around-the-collar on his mind when he entered a coin laundry. Brandishing a revolver, he demanded the clerk's wallet. The employee surrendered it, then grabbed his own gun from beneath the counter. The would-be robber shot six times, missing. The clerk shot once, hitting his target. The criminal, who had just been released from prison, fled, but soon turned up at a local hospital. (The Star, Kansas City, MO, 05/13/94)

415. After seeing her 87-year-old husband beaten during a holdup at their north Philadelphia liquor store three weeks previous, Jacqueline Arnao, 78, vowed not to let it happen again. So when three masked men, one brandishing a shotgun, burst into the store, Mrs. Arnao reached for her .38. Firing once, she set the trio running for the door. Mrs. Arnao promised to use the pistol again if need be: "I'm going to go and learn how to shoot it properly so I can get him next time." (The Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA, 04/30/94)

416. "As he was helping himself to my money, I was helping myself to my pistol," says 77-year-old O'Dell Alston of Beaufort, South Carolina, describing her encounter with a knife-wielding robber in Alston's grocery store. Pretending to make a purchase, the robber waited for Alston to open the cash register. He then pulled his weapon and went behind the counter, where be began removing money from the drawer. Once he saw that Alston was armed, however, he fled. Police Lieutenant Steve Rogers said Alston's actions were legal. "You have a right to protect your business, especially when you are threatened with a deadly weapon like a knife." (The Gazette, Beaufort, SC, 04/26/94)

417. Phoenix resident John Steyer, 56, had to take a detour from his regular route home at 3 a.m. Feeling somewhat uneasy in the unfamiliar neighborhood, Steyer reached under his seat and unsnapped his pistol holster when a van pulled up next to him. Just then one of the van's occupants opened the door and put a revolver to Steyer's head. Steyer knocked the gunman's arm away and grabbed his own pistol, firing once at the criminal's leg. Steyer then sped off and called the police, who found the wounded culprit still lying in the road. Police officials say Steyer did not commit any firearms violations, and he was later cleared of any criminal wrongdoing. (The Daily News Tribune, Tempe, AZ, 04/20/94)

418. An escapee from the New Hanover, North Carolina, minimum security prison resumed his life of crime almost immediately by breaking into the home of William Jennings Bryan, 58, about a half mile from the prison. Awakened by the sound of breaking glass, Bryan grabbed his .38 Smith & Wesson from the nightstand and confronted the convict in his kitchen. Bryan then ended the felon's brief foray into freedom with a single shot to the chest. The escapee was serving a 24-year sentence under North Carolina's habitual felon law. Police say no charges will be filed against Bryan. (The Daily News, Jacksonville, NC, 05/20/94)

419. "I had my pants in one hand and a pistol in the other and I was buck naked," says Larry Ayres, of Mobile, Alabama. Ayres was relaxing in the bathtub when his wife began screaming that someone was in the house. Ayres ran from the bathroom and confronted the intruder. "All I could see was that he was coming at me with a gun and I wasn't going to let him get to me," Ayres says. He fired twice, killing the intruder. The district attorney says the case does not warrant presentation to a grand jury. (The Press-Register, Mobile, AL, 05/06/94)

420. West Palm Beach, Florida, jewelry store owner Art Samuels was on his way to lunch when he noticed a badly bleeding man rushing out of a store. Samuels ran to the aid of the victim, and a few seconds later an assailant exited the store swinging a pair of nunchakus. "He lunged and came toward me," Samuels said. "I pulled out my gun." A retired U.S. Navy commander, Samuels has a concealed weapons permit for his .40 Glockl with a laser sight. Just the sight of it was enough to make the criminal hit the deck, where he stayed until police arrived. (The Sun-Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 05/08/94)

421. When pistol-packing preacher Rev. Ronald Kirk went to investigate the motion alarm going off in his church, he came face to face with a burglar. Kirk pulled his pistol and, fearing the criminal might also have a gun, ordered him to disrobe. When Kirk went to call police, the burglar made a break for it. Police say it wasn't hard to track the bare bandit through the residential neighborhood on Buffalo's east side. They found him minutes later in a house, hiding under a bed. (The News, Buffalo, NY, 04/30/94)

422. A career criminal in Milwaukee may think twice before he strikes again, thanks to an armed homeowner who caught him in the act. The professional thief was shot in the arm and held at gunpoint until police arrived. Police say they had arrested the suspect more than 40 times, and he has been convicted of five felonies. (The Journal, Milwaukee, WI, 04/02/94)

September, 1994

423. "I probably wouldn't have gone out there without a gun," says John Gutt of Union Mills, Indiana. Gutt heard two bloodcurdling screams in the early morning outside his rural home. While his daughter called 911, he armed himself and went to investigate, clad only in sweat pants. When he heard another scream and a woman's voice saying, "He's got a gun," Gutt followed the voice to a field, where he found a man on top of a partially clad woman. The would-be rapist ran off, and Gutt escorted the woman to his home. Once police arrived, he helped hunt down the culprit. Gutt later received a public service award for his actions. (The Herald Argus, LaPorte, IN, 07/14/94)

424. "There's never a cop around when you need one," says Wayne Deal of Morgantown, North Carolina. When he saw a woman run from a building screaming that someone was stealing her car and kidnapping her son, Deal hopped in his car and took off in hot pursuit. After a half-mile chase, the criminal pulled over. "It looked like he'd pulled over to push the child out of the car," says Deal. "So I pulled up with my car and blocked him." Deal then retrieved the .22 pistol he legally carries in his car and, firing a warning shot, ordered the fleeing felon to stay put. Police arrived shortly and took the criminal into custody. Mother and son were reunited. (The Observer, Charlotte, NC, 06/15/94)

425. Baton Rouge, Louisiana, nurse Alysha Jackson called the police often, complaining of threats and harassment by her estranged husband. Eventually she obtained a restraining order, but in the end it was a gun that saved her from him. Returning from work at midnight, Jackson found her husband had broken into her apartment and was waiting for her. He physically restrained her, but she escaped, went for her gun, and locked herself in the bedroom. When her husband kicked down the door, she shot him in the head, killing him. Police called it an obvious case of justifiable homicide. (The Advocate, Baton Rouge, LA, 06/07/94)

426. It was a hot night in Sacramento, so 80-year-old Lillian Carlson left her porch door open when she went to bed. This provided easy access for an intruder, who appeared in the bedroom. Carlson reached for the gun she has kept in her night stand for 50 years, aimed it at her unwelcome guest, and said, "You can live or die. Which is it going to be?" The culprit walked out and walked back in. Two shots from Carlson's antique revolver convinced him to leave for good. Police arrested a wounded suspect the next morning. (The Bee, Sacramento, CA, 07/12/94)

427. Jim LaChapelle says his house in Elgin, Illinois, has been burglarized four times in 12 years. So when he came home and saw his back door open and the door frame broken, he figured the crooks were at it again. He was right. LaChapelle retrieved one of his guns, confronted two juvenile intruders, and chased them to a locked room, where he held them for police. One of the delinquents had been released from jail a week before, where he served time on a weapons charge. (The Courier-News, Elgin, IL, 06/01/94)

428. William Palmer, 63, retired from the San Francisco police force last year, but his training still comes in handy. Palmer and his wife were pulling into their garage when a man entered right behind them, aimed a gun at Palmer's head, and ordered the couple out of the car. As he climbed out, Palmer knocked the gun from the criminal's hand, drew his own pistol, and shot four times. The wounded suspect and an accomplice were charged with attempted robbery, attempted car-jacking, burglary, and conspiracy. (The Examiner, San Francisco, CA, 06/17/94)

429. A Phoenix motorist stopping at a convenience store for gas got the feeling that something was wrong when a "clerk" told him to take all the gas he wanted. The real clerk was handcuffed on the floor behind the counter with a gun to his head. The alert customer returned to his car, got his gun, and walked to a pay phone to call 911. Seeing this, the robber exited the store and began firing. The customer returned fire, hitting his target in the shoulder. Police arrested the wounded criminal later. (The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, AZ, 05/15/94)

430. There's no question about Maryland House of Delegates candidate Anthony J. Narutowicz's stand on gun control. Narutowicz and his business partner were leaving a bank in the Baltimore suburb of Dundalk when a van pulled up beside them. The van's doors swung open and two armed men demanded money. Both Narutowicz and his partner quickly pulled their own legally carried weapons and opened fire. The van sped away. Police found the abandoned vehicle later, pockmarked with bulled holes and stained with blood. (The Sun, Baltimore, MD, 06/15/94)

431. At 10:30 a.m., in broad daylight, a 35-year-old woman was getting out of her car in a Montgomery, Alabama, parking lot. That's when a man approached from behind, knocked her unconscious, pushed her back into her vehicle, and drove away with her. When she came to, he had driven to some woods. She struggled with him briefly, and then remembered the .38 revolver in her glove compartment. She shot twice, missing, but scaring the daylights out of the kidnapper, who slammed on the brakes and raced away on foot. He remains at large. (The Advertiser, Montgomery, AL, 07/11/94)

432. A 300-lb. bear broke into Colfax County, New Mexico, ranger Jim Marchetti's home, helping himself to a free meal. Several days later, the bear was back. This time Marchetti was ready for him. Awakened by his barking dog at 3 a.m., Marchetti grabbed his flashlight and his .44 Mag. and went to investigate. He found the bruin in the kitchen. "...he looked right at me and started to rise up. I wasn't sure what that look meant, whether he was going to come at me or go the other way. I helped him make up his mind." The wounded bear escaped; Marchetti tracked it and finished it off the next morning. (The Journal, Albuquerque, NM, 07/06/94)

October, 1994

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November, 1994

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December, 1994

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January/February, 1995

433. "You can't even feel safe in your own neighborhood," says Sondra Evelyn Kinnett of Annapolis, Maryland. Kinnett's home was broken into by a man who lives only a few blocks away. Fortunately, her son, Michael Strissel, was there when it happened. Awakened by the burglar's footsteps, Strissel grabbed his shotgun, confronted the criminal as he hid in a bedroom, and held him at gunpoint until police arrived. (The Capital, Annapolis, MD, 10/14/94)

434. JoEllen Hammersley almost became a cop 20 years ago, and maybe she missed her calling. Hammersley was pulling up to a bank in East Chicago, Indiana, when she heard screams and saw a man run off with a woman 's purse. Without hesitation, Hammersley retrieved her .32 from her purse and gave pursuit. With the help of a bystander, she caught the thief and held him at gunpoint for police. Hammersley received a Citizens Award from the mayor for her action. The local police chief remarked: "It's people like Mrs. Hammersley who make my job a lot easier." (The Times, Munster, IN, 9/29/94)

435. One moment it was a routine morning at Gregory Morris's Inglewood, California, furniture store. The next moment it was "like one of them shoot'em-up movies." Morris and an employee fired at least 20 shots defending their lives against an armed robber who threatened to kill them. He fired 13 times. "I'm on the phone with 911 and I'm screaming for help," says Morris. "There's bullets all over the place. It's like pop, pop, pop, pop, pop." The battle ended with the thug prone with a bullet through his cheek. Morris and his employee were unharmed. Police say the criminal had served less than three months of a two-year prison sentence for robbery. (The Daily Breeze, Los Angeles, CA, 8/27/94)

436. Jack Parker's parents have lived in the same Little Rock house for 30 years. But the neighborhood has deteriorated so much that Parker fears for their safety and often stays with them at night. When the family dog began barking at 1 a.m., Parker grabbed a pistol. Finding an intruder behind the house, Parker yelled at him and was answered by a gunshot. He shot back, hitting and killing him. Police say no charges will be filed against Parker. (Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Little Rock, AR, 9/22/94)

437. On his final run of the night, Rochester, New York, pizza deliveryman Michael Vaccaro was set upon by a group of five to seven men. One of them shoved a gun in Vaccaro's face, while another took him in a chokehold. Vaccaro was able to free himself from the stranglehold, pull his gun and shoot the man holding a gun on him. At the sound of shots, the gang fled, stealing Vaccaro's car. The wounded suspect was apprehended and faces multiple charges.(Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, NY, 10/9/94)

438. When Louis Simoni walked out of a Rialto, California, restaurant and into the parking lot, he had no idea there were two men inside his car. As Simoni approached, one of the thieves gunned the engine and tried to back over him. That's when Simoni pulled his handgun and shot the driver, killing him. Simoni was not charged in the shooting. (The Sun, San Bernardino, CA, 10/3/94)

439. After a man pounded on her door, cut the electric, telephone and alarm system lines to her house and launched several bricks through her windows, 61-year-old Annie Holt decided she'd had enough. With her .22 derringer in hand, the Nashville resident repeatedly warned her harasser to stop trying to force entry or be shot. He didn't stop, so Holt finally shot and killed him. Police did not expect charges to be filed against Holt. (The Tennessean, Nashville, TN, 10/10/94)

440. A wheelchair-bound 71-year-old Henrico County, Virginia, woman proved too tough for the likes of a local burglar. Lillian Allen, who keeps a .32 under her pillow, wheeled herself into the bedroom when she saw a criminal armed with a tire iron enter her home through a window. After she fired on the intruder, he fled out the front door. The doughty grandmother says crime won't run her out of her neighborhood. "As long as I have the gun, I feel secure with that," she said. (Times- Dispatch, Richmond, VA, 10/18/94)

441. Like a scene from the hit movie "Home Alone," a 12-year-old Archer, Florida, boy used his wits, and a gun, to protect himself and his family's proper- ty. While the boy was watching TV, a burglar entered the farm house through an open side door. Seeing the intruder, the youngster retrieved the family's 12-ga. shotgun and fired one shot, sending the perpetrator packing. A newspaper report said the youth is an experienced hunter and has taken a course in gun safety. (The Sun, Gainesville, FL, 10/10/94)

442. When Springfield, Oregon, resident John Shannon heard noises at four in the morning, he figured it was the family cat asking to go out. Shannon didn't find the cat, but he did find an intruder on his hands and knees next to his wife's side of the bed. Quickly, Shannon retrieved his .45 from his closet, trained it on the intruder and cut on the lights. After his wife called 911, NRA member Shannon detained the burglar until police could arrive. (The Register-Guard, Eugene, OR, 10/10/94)

443. Portland, Wisconsin, gun shop owner William Ripley was suspicious about the two youths in his store asking "silly questions ." When one announced a holdup and pulled a gun, Ripley drew his own .22 pistol and fired. "We both fired at the same time," says Ripley. "I dodged, and he missed by about 6". I have powder burns on my face." Ripley's shot went through the robber's cheek and lodged in his neck. Police nabbed the wounded robber and a second suspect and later found the stolen car they were driving. (The Herald, Sparta, WI, 9/19/94)

March, 1995

444. Even after Korean-born Joseph Choi told the armed robber to take whatever he wanted, the intruder forced the shopkeeper to his hands and knees and threatened to kill him. When the robber locked the door to his Spokane, Washington, watch repair shop, Choi made a decision. "I had to take a chance. I die or he die. I'm not lucky, I die," said Choi, who grabbed the man's wrist, attempting to wrench the gun loose. During the ensuing struggle, Choi reached his own handgun and was able to unleash three shots. Two were on target, fatally wounding the robber, who authorities said had an extensive criminal record. (The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, WA, 12/16/94)

445. State and local law enforcement officials praised Elva, Kentucky, resident Anthony Sexton, his brother, and two cousins after they captured four men being sought in a manhunt after burglarizing a nearby home. Sexton came upon two of the wanted men on a road and confronted them. His relatives found two more suspects hiding in the woods. When one of the criminals attempted to pull a stolen .357 Mag., it became entangled in the lining of his jacket--a fortunate thing for the criminal. "He doesn't know how close he came to getting killed right there," said Sexton, who had a gun of his own. The criminals were held at gunpoint until police could arrive. (The Sun, Paducah, KY, 11/2/94)

446. Rebecca Griffin awoke to the screams of her daughter, who was being bound and gagged by two kidnappers in her Washington, D.C., home. She confronted the men, one of whom was carrying knife, and brought the attack to a quick halt when she was able to break free and retrieve a .32 cal. revolver from the basement, shooting the knife-wielder four times. The other suspect fled. Griffin and one daughter were slashed during the attack. Some news accounts made no mention that the handgun that saved the Griffins is illegal in the District. (The Times, Washington, D.C., 12/14/94)

447. Rochester, New York, market owner Ali Amireh still carries a bullet lodged next to his heart after being shot in the chest during a 1992 armed robbery. He was not about to take another one. When two criminals walked into his store and opened fire on Amireh, he drew his own legally owned .38 and shot back. The armed robber was struck once, while the other suspect fled. The incident was the third in Rochester that month where citizens defended themselves. Just two weeks earlier, a restaurant owner shot a bandit during an attempted robbery. In another incident, two city employees being held up in a parking lot pulled their legally carried firearms and shot and killed their assailant. No charges were filed against the crime victims in any of those incidents. (Times-Union, Rochester, NY, 12/20/94)

448. Jimmy Kirkpatrick thought it might be friends knocking at the door of his Dallas, Texas, apartment at 2 a.m. Instead, the 26-year-old Army reservist found himself looking down the barrel of a rifle held by one of two strangers. Kirkpatrick, who usually answers the door with a pistol behind his back because his door doesn't have a peephole, stepped quickly to the side as a shot went past him. He then fired a single mortal shot into one man. The surviving intruder told police the two had gone to Kirkpatrick's apartment to rob him. Police said Kirkpatrick was justified for shooting his attacker. (The Morning News, Dallas, TX, 12/19/94)

449. When Lake Los Angeles, California, resident Alfred Abel saw his girlfriend being brutally beaten by her former landlord, he did the only thing he could to stop the attack. Partially paralyzed on his right side, Abel managed to grab his .45 semi- auto pistol. After shouting a warning, Abel fired a single shot at the aggressor, striking him in the abdomen and killing him. Prosecutors refused to file charges against Abel, saying he came to the defense of his girlfriend. (Times, Los Angeles, CA 11/5/94)

450. Two long criminal careers ended in a hail of gunfire in a Richmond, Virginia, jewelry store. The robbers, aged 56 and 71, were masked and armed as they burst into the store, but owner Gary Baker and his five employees already had revolvers and shotguns in hand. More than 30 shots were fired in a firefight that killed both criminals. Other than a shotgun pellet to Baker's hand, the jewelers were unscathed. (Times-Dispatch, Richmond, VA 12/6/94)

451. Housebreakers had entered Lillie Mae Ponder's Orlando, Florida, home twice in less then a week, so she grabbed her .38 Spl. when she heard noises from her 77-year-old husband's bedroom. There she found a criminal spraying wheelchair bound Paul Ponder with Mace. Though he turned the irritant on her, too, she was able to fire, killing her attacker. Police said the shooting was justified. (The Sentinel, Orlando, FL 12/8/94)

452. What police called "fatal attraction" cost a 15-year-old boy his life. Obsessed with a neighborhood woman, he allegedly broke into her Broken Bow, Oklahoma, home three times in a week, once raping the mother of two at knife-point. But when he entered the home the final time carrying a stolen handgun, a pair of handcuffs and a ski mask, the youth encountered two armed men guarding the home in the family's absence. Police said the unidentified citizen who killed the alleged rapist "had no choice." (Gazette Texarkana, TX 11/3/94)

453. Suspicious after it seemed a "customer" was casing his isolated Woodson, Arkansas, store, Sherman Waldern, 72 reached behind the meat counter for a .357 Mag. while his wife went to lock the store's door. But before she could secure it, three robbers--one armed with a shotgun--burst in. Waldern shot and killed the shotgun wielder as his fellow criminals fled the scene. Police soon identified two other men as suspects. (Democrat Gazette, Little Rock, AR 12/2/94)

April, 1995

454. When the robbery suspect police were searching for climbed from his hiding spot, he thought the coast was clear. He didn't count on Pineville, Louisiana, resident Bobby Mills. Mills, with pistol in hand, had just checked a storage shed in his backyard after learning of a police manhunt in the neighborhood. Walking around to the front of his home, he discovered the man crawling from beneath his truck. Mills told the man to freeze as nearby police rushed over to arrest the suspect. The police chief praised Mills for his assistance. (Daily Town Talk, Alexandria, LA, 12/5/94)

455. Nilous Banks, Jr., was away the night three months earlier when three masked men broke into his Knightdale, North Carolina, home, tied up his wife and children, and stole more than $2,000 worth of jewelry. But this time, Banks was home. Hearing a crash at his front door. he ran to his bedroom to retrieve a 12-ga. shotgun. Returning to the living room. Banks encountered three men entering his trailer--one of them waving a gun. yelling at him to get on the floor. Instead. Banks emptied his shotgun, killing all three of the intruders. Two guns believed to be the criminals' were found at the scene. (The News & Observer, Raleigh. NC, I 1/18/94)

456. North Carolina resident Patti Davis credited an NRA gun safety and self-defense course with giving her the ability to save herself when an armed robber attempted to shoot her. Davis, her mother-in-law, and another family member were walking from a restaurant while vacationing in Florida when the bandit jumped from the shadows. To protect her 77-year-old mother-in-law, Davis pushed her to the ground. Davis then knocked her attacker's arm skyward just as he fired a shot that took off half her left index finger. But the move gave her time to pull her .38 from her purse and drive off the attacker and an accomplice with a couple of shots. (The Times, Apalachicola, FL, I /5/95)

457. A would-be rapist started the year off on the wrong foot when he attempted to rape an armed West Hartford, Connecticut, woman as she walked home early on New Year's Day. Dragging the woman into the bushes, pinning her to the ground, and forcibly removing part of her clothing, the attacker refused to heed the woman's words when she tried to reason with him to stop. Her licensed derringer did what words failed to. A single gunshot wound to the chest ended the attack as the man staggered into the road and collapsed. He died later in a hospital. The woman was not charged in the incident. (The Courant, Hartford, CT, 1/6/95)

458. The money from the cash register was not enough for three Kansas City teens robbing a convenience store, so the one wielding a pistol demanded a male customer's wallet. Although the customer complied, the bandit shot him in the chest and then turned the gun on the female store clerk. He pulled the trigger, but the gun misfired. Unbeknownst to the bandit, his first victim was saved because the bullet struck a daily planner held in his jacket pocket. The man then pulled his own pistol, shooting the armed assailant, who fled. He held the other two teens until police could arrive. The wounded robber was found later and arrested. (The Star, Kansas City, MO, 12/31/94)

459. Off-duty sheriff's deputy James Charles Strickland was removing presents from the trunk of his car on Christmas Eve when two masked men walked up behind him and began beating him with their pistols. They then broke down the door of Strickland's Fayetteville, North Carolina, home and knocked down his wife, who witnessed the attack. Making his way inside to his gun, Strickland shot and killed one of the attackers, who police later said had an extensive criminal record including drug charges and assaulting a police officer. The accomplice was apprehended the following day. (Observer-Times, Fayetteville, NC, 12/27/94)

460. Fourteen-year-old Nathan Archuleta was home alone with the flu when he came face-to-face with an adult burglar standing in the kitchen of his Pueblo, Colorado, home. Recognizing he had been caught in the act, the thief grabbed a kitchen knife and slashed the terror-struck boy in the arm. Archuleta dashed for his bedroom, hoping to escape the full-grown attacker, who followed closely behind him. With nowhere else to run, the boy grabbed his BB gun from his dresser and shot the criminal, who miraculously fled the house. (The Chieftain, Pueblo, CO, 1/7/95)

461. "It's more than fighting fires. If somebody is in trouble, we're going to show up," said Sipsey Valley volunteer fire-fighter James "Buddy" O'Hanlon. O'Hanlon was one of about 30 armed volunteer firefighters who responded within minutes to an emergency call from their chief, L.A. Marlowe, who had just been robbed and shot at outside of his Buhl, Alabama, store. One suspect was spotted before he made it 100 yds. and was cornered in the woods by the army of firefighters, who apprehended him. Sheriff's deputies quickly arrested another robber who had been identified by the firefighters. A third suspect was later apprehended. (The News, Tuscaloosa, AL, 1/12/95)

462. Just a day after thieves made off with hundreds of dollars worth of parts from his Stanislaus County, California, trucking company's yard, Ben Bonora discovered they had returned, stacking another $1,000 worth of parts near a fence to pick up later. Armed with a 12-ga. shotgun and a .38 handgun, the business owner staked out the location for five hours. When three men pulled up in a van, Bonora let them load their vehicle with the stolen goods and then surprised them with a citizen's arrest. He marched the three to a grain trailer, where he locked them up until sheriff's deputies arrived. (The Bee, Modesto, CA, 1/25/95)

May, 1995

463. He would have preferred another way, but Philadelphia minister David A. Venable, 73, had to send a violent intruder to meet his Maker. The robber burst into Venable's kitchen, attacked him with a knife and burned him with hot grease from a frying pan. Pretending to retrieve money, Venable reached for and emptied his five-shot .38, killing the criminal, a repeat offender. "God was definitely with him," said a family friend of the Baptist preacher. (The Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA, 2/18/94)

464. Fifty police and a Coast Guard helicopter couldn't find their man, but a Windsor, Connecticut, homeowner with a 9 mm pistol halted a day-long crime spree. The hunted fugitive had knifed and set ablaze an elderly man, then kidnapped and raped his female companion. But when retired engineer Jack O'Keefe discovered the criminal hiding in his car, jail was inevitable. O'Keefe's wife dialed 911 while he held the thug for police. (The Courant, Hartford, CT, 2/2/95)

465. The armed robbers failed to tie Phoenix, Arizona, jeweler Chuy Sosa securely, and it cost one of them his life. Sosa got loose and grabbed a .38 just as the criminals pointed their guns at fleeing customers. In the ensuing firefight, Sosa mortally wounded one of the intruders and forced both of them to flee. (The Republic, Phoenix, AZ, 1/13/95)

466. Even the steel bars 81-year-old Bisbee, Arizona, resident Ben Duree had placed over the mobile home windows did not deter the intruders who hacked a hole through the wall of his 101-year-old mother's bedroom. After three burglaries since 1984, Duree took the only other step he could; he armed himself with his .38. When a burglar tried to enter the home, Duree killed him with a single shot. (Daily Miner, Kingman, AZ, 1/4/95)

467. The locked bedroom door was little deterrent to the housebreaker who had already kicked in the back door of a Vernon Parish, Louisiana, woman's home in the middle of the night. When the man, armed with a large butcher knife, crashed into the room where the woman huddled with her 22-month-old child, the woman mortally wounded the assailant with several shots from her .380 pistol. The woman and her child were not injured. (Daily Leader, Leesville, LA, 1/29/95)

468. Iron gates didn't stop a gang of armed home invaders, but a .357 Mag. proved more effective. At least five burglars, some armed, rampaged through a Las Vegas, Nevada, woman's upscale home. When one kicked down the locked door of the bedroom where she was hiding, she opened fire, wounding him and putting the bandits to flight. The wounded criminal and his four accomplices were later arrested. (Review-Journal, Las Vegas, NV, 2/11/95)

469. Anchorage, Alaska resident Kellie Duff is considered a hero by her neighbors. Arriving home one evening with her three young daughters in tow, Duff surprised three teenaged burglars exiting the front door of her home. They tried to get in their car and leave, but Duff blocked their escape with her truck. She then held them at bay with a .30-'06 as her oldest daughter ran to call police. (Daily News, Anchorage, AK, 1/8/95)

470. When Thedles Cannon, 71, first heard the crash, he thought a car had wrecked outside of his Wichita, Kansas, home. Then he realized an intruder had actually kicked in his front door. As his wife dialed 911, Cannon made his way downstairs with his .357 Mag. and confronted the burglar. When told to "Freeze," the intruder instead lunged at Cannon, who shot and seriously wounded the criminal. (The Eagle, Wichita, KS, 1/11/95)

471. When a muddy man in camouflage clothes wandered up his driveway and asked for a ride, Waterboro, Maine, resident Ray Dion was suspicious, since his house has just been burglarized. His suspicions were confirmed when he spotted one of his tools in the break-in artist's pocket. He held the would-be hitchhiker at gunpoint for state troopers. (Kennebec Journal, Augusta, ME, 1/2/95)

472. It was deja vu for employees of a Tacoma, Washington, credit union when a masked bandit armed with a .357 Mag. demanded cash. The incident was the second robbery attempt of the day. But a man waiting outside for his wife saw what was going on and decided to put an end to the crime. He rushed in and opened up with a 9 mm, felling the robber. (The News Tribune, Tacoma, WA, 2/4/95)

473. Storming into a Phoenix, Arizona, electronics store with a sawed-off shotgun, a would-be robber was dealt a strong hand of "Arizona justice" after the shopkeeper critically wounded the suspect with a .45. "Shooting robbers makes sense to me. That's the way we ought to deal with all of them around here," said an approving nearby business owner. (The Republic, Phoenix, AZ, 2/14/95)

474. Anthony DeJulius, 61, was working alone in a Bensalem, Pennsylvania, convenience store when one of two bandits sprayed him with Mace and attempted to open the cash register. One wisely fled when DeJulius drew his licensed .38 revolver, but the other rushed him with a crowbar. The manager opened fire, hitting the robber in the chest. Both criminals were later apprehended by police. (The Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA, 2/18/94)

475. Dentist Steven Reich proved that marksmanship pays when an armed robber invaded his Brooklyn, New York office. The criminal fired three shots at Reich at point-blank range but missed. Unfazed, Reich drilled the bandit with five of five shots. The unlucky assailant staggered into the street and was beaten by passengers of a vehicle he hoped to carjack. (The Times, New York, NY, 2/14/95)

June, 1995

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July, 1995

476. Three young hoodlums thought their plan was fail-safe as they smashed through the front door of Leo Wilburd's Little Rock, Arkansas, home identifying themselves as police. Wilburd didn't fall for the ruse, and instead traded shots with one of the masked intruders as his wife and three young sons cowered in a bedroom. As four errant shots struck the walls around the defiant family man, at least one of the shots from his .38 found its mark. The three intruders fled the home and were later arrested after the wounded suspect appeared at a local hospital for treatment and confessed to the crime, identifying his accomplices. (Democrat Gazette, Little Rock, AR, 3/22/95)

477. An 82-year-old East Dallas, Texas, man one-upped an assailant one-fourth his age during an attempted robbery, giving the crook much more than he bargained for. Approached from behind by the bandit while walking up the driveway to his home, Jack Topletz whirled around and fired several shots, fatally wounding the man. (The Morning News, Dallas, TX, 4/5/95)

478. Already wanted by police for an earlier break-in, a Tulsa, Oklahoma, criminal found his way into custody via the hospital after a homeowner's bullet cut another burglary attempt short. Sam Horey was talking to his mother on the phone when the sound of breaking glass alerted him to trouble. Grabbing a 9 mm, Horey confronted the intruder in his living room, wounding him with a single shot. (The World, Tulsa, OK, 3/29/95)

479. Awakened at the sound of breaking glass, Oktaha, Oklahoma, storekeeper John Wyatt grabbed his .22 semi-auto rifle and ran from the back room of his convenience mart. Discovering two intruders, Wyatt exchanged gunfire with the men, striking one of them. Both fled, with the injured crook making it just a short distance from the store before passing out. It was the third time Wyatt has been forced to use a firearm to defend himself at his business. (Daily Phoenix, Muskogee, OK, 3/18/95)

480. Gastonia, North Carolina, resident Randy Watson confronted the teenaged thief breaking into his vehicle and told him to sit down until police arrived. Instead of complying with Watson's request, the indignant juvenile charged Watson, striking him in the head with a car stereo, knocking him to the ground. An injured Watson returned the favor with three slugs from his .380. Gastonia Police Capt. Mike Quilliams said the action probably saved Watson's life. (The Gaston Gazette, Gastonia, NC, 4/12/95)

481. Describing his city as being fed up with crime, a Winston-Salem, North Carolina, assistant district attorney refused to bring charges against 52-year-old James Junior Lucas for defending himself against two thugs. After a "parking tax" was demanded from him as he sat waiting to pick up his wife from work, Lucas saw one of his attackers reach behind his back as if grabbing for a weapon. Concerned for his safety, Lucas fired several shots through the window of his car, killing his assailant. A knife was found near the criminal's body. (The Citizen, Asheville, NC, 4/10/95)

482. It was like a case of deja vu when two Poughkeepsie, New York, senior citizens found themselves being attacked in their home by the same strongarm robber who had mauled them in 1987. Struck in the head and bleeding, John Brennan managed to reach his handgun, the sight of which caused the parolee, armed with a stick, to flee the home. The criminal was later arrested and returned to prison as part of a plea agreement that would keep him there for 10 to 20 years. He had only served 6 1/2 years for the earlier attack before being released. (The Journal, Poughkeepsie, NY, 3/18/95)

483. Buckling his three-year-old daughter into a child restraint seat, Dothan, Alabama, resident William Kenneth Long was approached by three masked thugs demanding money. With the barrel of a .38 jabbed into his back, the young father turned around, and instead of handing over his wallet, delivered a single shot into the head of the armed bandit, killing him. The other punks fled the scene and were later arrested. (The Eagle, Dothan, AL, 4/19/95)

484. Despite being struck in the side by a robber's bullet, Hartford, Connecticut, jewelry store employee Alex Keylin managed to return fire with his .25 cal., protecting a fellow employee and keeping the two bandits before him from taking any jewelry. Keylin fatally wounded one of the criminals, who, with his accomplice, fled in a vehicle that crashed just blocks away. The dead man had a long criminal record dating back to 1982. (The Courant, Hartford, CT, 4/14/95)

485. A Phoenix, Arizona, gang member thought he had the upper hand as he trained a shotgun on his quarry. But the scattergun was snatched from his hands by his intended victim. Despite aid from another gangster, the first gangbanger was beaten senseless and struck by gunshots, both from his own shotgun and from his mark's .44 Mag. The attack cost the criminal both arms. (The Republic, Phoenix, AZ, 4/2/95)

486. Awakened to the sounds of gunfire, Miami, Florida, resident Manuel Lopez grabbed his own gun and ran into his living room to discover four armed men herding family members into the house from the front lawn. One of the intruders made the fatal mistake of pointing a gun in Lopez's face. The householder shot him, killing the robber instantly. The other men fled the scene at the sight of their fallen accomplice. (The Herald, Miami, FL, 4/9/95)

August 1995

487. Concord, New Hampshire, resident Stephen Lockawich and his 100-lb. chocolate lab, Mousse, were scouring woods for shed deer antlers when suddenly charged by a rabid skunk. The crazed critter lashed out at the much larger dog, sinking his teeth into Mousse's leg before being knocked loose. The dog and his owner attempted to escape through the woods only to discover the skunk right behind them. Lockawich then drew his .38 and fired four shots, killing the diseased pest. (The Monitor, Concord, NH, 3/27/95)

488. A Canajoharie, New York, car thief's efforts were put in park after a potential victim pressed a shotgun to the criminal's throat. Daniel J. Stetin foiled the crime after awaking for work and discovering his car already running outside. He grabbed a shotgun and went to investigate, while his wife grabbed the telephone and dialed 911. Confronted by an armed and angry Stetin, the crook rested quietly on the ground and waited for police to arrive. (The Sunday Gazette, Schnectady, NY, 5/21/95)

489. A crazed teenager screaming "Satan will get you," chased a Hermitage, Pennsylvania, woman into her home, then tore a sliding glass door from its track. The woman then pulled a .22 cal. gun on the intruder, who fled at the sight of the firearm. The teen, who had been recently prosecuted in another community, was arrested 15 minutes later by police who had to use pepper spray to subdue the suspect. (The Herald, Sharon, PA, 4/3/95)

490. Mobile, Alabama, citizen activist Lillian Jackson was driving by some properties she owns when she noticed two unfamiliar men coming out one of the houses. Jackson grabbed her .38 snub-nose from beside the seat of her car and drew a bead on the pair, who heat a hasty retreat. It was the third incident in which the president of the local March Against Crime organization had been forced to use her gun, dubbed "The Equalizer," to stop or apprehend a burglar. (The Register, Mobile, AL, 4/26/95)

491. William Buchas and his wife were walking across a Plainville, Connecticut, store parking lot with an armful of groceries when Buchas' wife noticed a man inside their camper. While the thief worked at removing a CB radio, Buchas slid in the back door of the RV, grabbed a loaded handgun and forced the crook outside at gunpoint. Police soon arrived and arrested the criminal, who was reportedly so shook up at the sight of Buchas' sidearm that he cried for two hours after being taken into custody. (The Press, Bristol, CT, 5/20/95)

492. A stabbing suspect facing attempted murder charges was holed up in a Simi Valley, California, couple's home when the two returned. Despite the seriousness of the charges facing the bloody intruder, involved in a fight the night before, he offered no resistance to the armed husband, who ordered him to lay on the floor while his wife called police. (The Daily News, Simi Valley, CA, 5/19/95)

493. NRA member Bob Rocchio was behind the counter of his Providence Rhode Island, liquor store when a man entered and pointed a gun at him . Walking around the counter as if to surrender cash, Rocchio instead unleashed a shot at the bandit, who returned fire and fled the store. Neither man was hit. (The Journal Bulletin, Providence, RI, 4/1/95)

494. Winston-Salem, North Carolina, resident Lloyd Bowens and neighbor, Larry Hughes heard somebody in Bowens' home as they talked on the porch and decided to investigate. Once inside, the two encountered a brazen intruder who first throttled Hughes and then charged Bowens with a pair of scissors. The attack was cut short when Bowens drew his .32 revolver and fired two shots, seriously wounding the intruder--an amazing feat considering Bowens has been blind close to 30 years and used his hearing to guide his aim. (The Journal, Winston-Salem NC, 4/30/95)

495. "He's the only reason why they didn't empty the entire store. What he did was outstanding," said one police officer about an unidentified man who single-handedly put an end to looting at an Atlanta, Georgia, shopping mall. When hundreds of young revelers-turned-hoodlums ran wild and began ransacking and looting businesses, the man jumped from his car with a shotgun, firing three shots into the air. The thieves scattered and fled as the citizen knocked stolen merchandise from some of their hands and held one young crook for arriving police officers. (The Journal Constitution, Atlanta, GA, 4/23/95)

496. A Caldwell County, North Carolina, couple was watching television in their home when Denise Kent noticed their back doorknob moving. Her husband Mike quickly grabbed his S&W .357 and pulled the door open to find a man standing at the door trying to get in the house. Kent then knocked the intruder to the ground and held him at gunpoint until sheriff's deputies arrived on the scene. (The News-Topic, Lenoir, NC, 4/28/95)

497. Seymour, Connecticut, race shop owners Vinny Anglace and Scott Ritter stopped by their business to search for a missing transmission when they discovered an unlocked door and a partially disassembled $12,000 racing engine sitting by the entrance. Expecting the criminals to return, Anglace got his 9 mm semi-auto pistol and started to climb into a loft to wait when he looked over and discovered the pair of thieves sitting in a car listening to the radio. Anglace immediately covered the two, while Ritter phoned police. (The Post, Bridgeport, CT, 4/11/95)

September, 1995

498. Despite informing 69-year-old Mary Bradford that he didn't want to hurt her, the 6-ft., 300-lb. intruder had forced his way into the terrified woman's Indianapolis, Indiana, home demanding money and was rummaging through her kitchen in search of a knife. Bradford, who was able to retrieve her .38 from the living room, confronted the man, who pointed a butcher knife at her. Bradford fired a single shot, killing him. (The Star, Indianapolis, IN, 5/12/95)

499. The sound of a hunting rifle being loaded was all it took to send a hungry intruder scurrying from a Brownstone, Pennsylvania, home. Despite a well-lit house, somebody jimmied locks, slipped through the garage, and made his way into Benny Pruden's kitchen, while the homeowner worked on a computer upstairs. Pruden heard the refrigerator open, but never had the chance to actually see his unwelcome guest as the criminal or criminals instantly fled at the sound of him loading his .308. A purse and briefcase taken from the home were found in a neighboring yard. (The New Era, Lancaster, PA, 4/6/95)

500. A would-be carjacker picked the wrong Columbia County, Georgia, woman to victimize as she was preparing to go home after a long day at work. Carol Randolph was getting into her car when she noticed a strange man approaching her. She jumped in the vehicle and locked the doors as the bandit drew a semi-automatic pistol. Randolph had her own .38 and fired a single on-target shot through the car's side window at her attacker. The injured stranger fired one wild shot and fled the scene, only to be arrested by police the next day after he attempted to enter a home. (The Chronicle, Augusta, GA, 5/24/95)

501. It took NRA Life Member Earl Tiller. 67, to do what others had been unable to as the Fresno, California, resident" actions led to the arrest of one of California's most-wanted fugitives Suspected of more than 15 home invasions and numerous robberies in which elderly residents suffered severe beatings, the thug dove through an open bedroom window and attacked Tiller and his wife in his typical fashion. Untypical was the ensuing struggle where Tiller shot the fugitive four times before the man fled the home. The criminal later turned up in a hospital where police arrested him in connection to the string of savage attacks. (The Bee, Fresno, CA, 6/14/95)

502. When a teen bandit grabbed Mobile, Alabama, store owner Harold Lambert's gun from beside the cash register and pointed it at his head, the punk thought he had gotten the drop on him. The crook's bravado turned sour, however, when Lambert's wife, Marilyn, pulled her own .25 auto and aimed it at the gun-wielding robber. Backing out of the store, the bandit joined his accomplice standing guard outside, and fled, firing shots through the window. Pursued by Lambert and two other business owners on foot, the delinquents jumped in a car but were apprehended by police just three blocks away. (The Press Register, Mobile, AL, 5/4/95)

503. "It was the easiest arrest I have ever made," said an Indiana state policeman. A teenage runaway had already stolen one four-wheeled ATV and hoped to steal a second from a Greenfield, Indiana, gun club. But when the trooper arrived on the scene, he found the young criminal begging 90-year-old club owner Dennis Kingen to put down his gun. "It was quite a scene. Here is this 90-year-old man with his oxygen tank holding an 18-year-old kid at bay with a handgun." (The Daily Reporter, Greenfield, IN, 6/5/95)

504. Awakened by the sound of her barking dogs, a Clinton, Connecticut, woman inspected her house and found not only a screen missing from a kitchen window, but also a heavyset intruder standing motionless in her living room. The woman returned calmly to her bedroom where she retrieved her handgun. At the sound of her chambering a round into the pistol, the intruder unlocked the front door and fled the property. (The Register, New Haven, CT, 6/3/95)

505. A Norfolk, Virginia, pizza delivery driver was sent to a high-crime neighborhood with another driver as a safety precaution and was still forced to defend himself and his fellow employee in a brazen robbery attempt. Overtaken by three hoodlums, the armed driver fatally shot one of his attackers as the other two scurried away at the sight of the firearm. (The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk, VA, 5/20/95)

506. Wilmington, Delaware, shopkeeper Dalton Waterman, 70, was shot during a robbery attempt two years ago and swore next time he would shoot back--he did. When a man stormed into his store and pointed a pistol at Waterman, demanding cash, the senior citizen reactively ducked behind the counter, drew his .38, and cut loose with a shot in the intruder's direction. Waterman missed his target, but it was enough to send the crook bolting from the store. (The News Journal, Wilmington, DE, 5/31/95)

507. The three intruders entered a Chicago, Illinois, home and were stalking down the hall through the darkness when Robert Brown heard one of the housebreakers say, "Somebody's here, let's get him." Frightened but ready, Brown shot one of the thugs dead and was forced to wound another after the criminal attempted to attack the homeowner with a screwdriver. The wounded suspect and his unharmed accomplice then escaped the house. The injured crook was later arrested. (The Sun-Times, Chicago, IL, 5/9/95)

508. The intruders should have heeded 71-year-old Kenneth Struhs' warning to leave after kicking in the door to his Emigration Canyon, Utah, home. Instead, the two men continued toward Struhs, forcing him to shoot one of them in the leg with a .22 cal. rifle. At the sound of the shot, both men tried to flee, but the injured crook collapsed on the porch where he remained until police and paramedics arrived. The arrested criminal had a lengthy criminal record that dated back six years. (The Tribune, Salt Lake City, UT, 5/24/95)

October, 1995

509. A man posing as a customer strolled into an Albuquerque, New Mexico, business and, believing nobody would notice grabbed a cash box and sprinted from the store. His run was cut short, however, by store employee Alfredo Urban, who gave chase with a firearm and quickly caught and held the suspect for police. (The Tribune, Albuquerque, NM, 5/23/95)

510. Roughed up, blindfolded, tied to her bed and fearful of being raped by two robbers, a Spanaway, Washington, grandmother managed to work her hands free and retrieve her .22 cal. revolver. When one of the men started to return upstairs, 69-year-old Wilma Roberts shot twice, wounding him in the arm. Roberts then chased the two from the house, firing additional shots as they fled in her van. Police recovered the van just miles away from Roberts' home and arrests were expected. (The News Tribune, Tacoma, WA, 6/10/95)

511. "If they hadn't had a gun, there may have been much more injury and the guy probably wouldn't have been apprehended," said Owyhee County, Idaho, Sheriff Tim Nettleton after Wayne and Sharon Paris were rudely awakened in their own bedroom by a crowbar-wielding assailant. After suffering several gashes to the head from the attack, Wayne, with the aid of his wife, drove the housebreaker from the bedroom and managed to grab his .357 Mag., which he used to hold the man for sheriff's deputies. It was believed that the assailant was planning a rape at another house and broke into the Paris' home by mistake. (Idaho Press-Tribune, Nampa, ID, 6/21/95)

512. When three young men in a car began harassing a young woman walking alone outside a Gastonia, North Carolina, shopping mall, she sought help from a nearby friend, 26-year-old Christopher Gore. Enraged after being told to leave the woman alone, one of the men, a thrice-convicted violent offender who had consumed a six-pack of beer on the way to mall, jumped from his vehicle and began firing a .22 cal. pistol at Gore. returned fire with a 9mm pistol, killing the felon on the spot. The Gaston District Attorney ruled that Gore acted in self-defense. (The Gaston Observer, Gaston, NC, 6/10/95)

513. Ypsilanti, Michigan, resident Lois Menna noticed the air conditioner pushed out at her family's hot dog stand, and with .38 in hand, yelled for the prowler to come out, which he did. As a neighbor called police, Menna held the gun on the man, who attempted to unnerve her by threatening to walk away. Menna replied, "I've been waiting a long time for this...if you don't think I'll use it, walk. And you'll find out." The crook, a habitual offender, opted to wait for police. (The Gazette, Kalamazoo, MI, 7/10/95)

514. Sheila Cole's advice to people: "Don't be afraid to protect yourself." That's exactly what she did after a purse snatcher grabbed her bag containing more than $1,000 in receipts from her Detroit, Michigan, hair salon. Cole drew her .38 cal. revolver, shooting the man in the buttocks and leg. As he tried to escape in a stolen car, the robber was beaten and kicked by residents and business owners in the crack-infested neighborhood. (The Free Press, Detroit, Ml, 6/15/95)

515. A would-be robber armed with a Swiss Army knife had the fight taken out of him after Charles "Chuck" Brafford, the cashier of a Des Moines, Iowa, cafe shot him in the arm. The wounded bandit initially fled the Y Not Grill, only to approach a pursuing patron minutes later requesting to be taken to jail. (The Register, Des Moines, IA, 7/1/95)

516. A violent criminal with a history of carjackings made a fatal mistake when he forced Coral Springs, Florida, resident Paul Brite into the trunk of his own car--the same place Brite stored his two handguns. After a brief drive with his accomplice following in another car, the carjacker pulled over to see if Brite was attempting to summon help on a cellular phone. When the trunk was opened, Brite scrambled out--revolver in one hand, semi-auto in the other--and ordered the assailant to the ground. Instead, the man moved as if reaching for a weapon, drawing fatal gunfire from Brite. When the robber's accomplice tried to run him down, Brite fired at him as well. The accomplice was later apprehended by police. (The Sun-Sentinel, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 7/25/95)

517. A Bangor, Maine, criminal was held for police by armed homeowners Scott Simcock and Frank Page after the crook attempted to steal at least three trucks in their neighborhood, extensively damaging two of them in the process. Dome lights were also on in several other vehicles along the secluded roadway, leading police to believe the would-be crook had attempted to break into or steal at least four other vehicles before being captured. (The Daily News, Bangor, ME, 6/13/95)

518. A severe beating and a broken arm were more than enough motivation for Theresa Jenkins to leave her live-in boyfriend, get her own apartment and--for protection from future assaults--purchase a handgun. Just two weeks later, the abuser burst through the door of her Gloucester, Virginia, apartment and slashed her arm with a knife. Jenkins was able to turn the tide of the attack with three shots from her .380, which sent the wounded man running from the apartment. (The Daily Press, Newport News, VA, 7/3/95)

519. Emerging from the darkness of a Dallas, Texas, night, the carjacker laid the 7" butcher knife against the neck of Marcellina Williams, seated in the driver's seat of a 1992 Lexus. As he grabbed the young woman's wrist with his free hand and jerked her from the driver's seat, the passenger, Runette Sanders, retrieved her .38 from a bag in the back seat and scrambled from the car. When the man lunged at her with the knife, Sanders loosed a single blast, wounding him in the head and ending the carjacking. (The Morning News, Dallas, TX, 6/11/95)

November, 1995

520. When a trio of young bandits strode directly into a Tujunga, California, jewelry store drawing weapons, the store owner responded with the same directness, opening fire on the three. One of the thieves was wounded and the other two ran from the store without getting their hands on a single valuable. (The Daily News, San Fernando Valley, CA, 8/18/95)

521. "God, his eyes, he looked like the devil, I felt my life was absolutely, positively in danger," said Ron Oatman of Thousand Oaks, California, describing the black-bearded, bare-chested man armed with a 4-foot bamboo pole who broke into his home claiming to be the Pied Piper. Confronted by an armed Oatman and houseguest Steven Schmidt, the increasingly agitated intruder refused to leave until a gunshot to his thigh sent him dashing from the home. Following a brief skirmish with Schmidt in the street with sticks, the "Pied Piper" smashed through a neighbor's front window. Oatman pursued and held the man at bay for police. (The Times, Los Angeles, CA, 8/2/95)

522. Despite being wanted by police for two separate violent episodes at his mother-in-law's house in the previous week, and a restraining order barring him from the home, the unemployed ex-convict decided to pay a third visit to confront his estranged wife. Cutting the phone line and kicking in the front door of the Little Rock, Arkansas, home, the ex-con got more than he bargained for. Inside the house, he found his estranged wife armed with a 9 mm and standing next to her mother, who was armed with a shotgun. Frightened for their safety, both women fired, killing the man, who was struck twice by the shotgun. (The Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock, AR, 7/25/95)

523. A victim of burglary four times in the past eight months, Wayne Jacobs of Phoenix, Arizona, was alerted to the sound of two men prying open his back door. He yelled at the housebreakers to leave and when at failed to deter them, he grabbed his gun, shut himself in a back bedroom, and continued yelling warnings that he was armed and calling police. The criminals ignored his warnings and entered the home, making their way to Jacobs' room where the homeowner shot and killed one of them. The other fled the house. In a second incident that same evening, Raymond Sheedy, also of Phoenix, armed himself and confronted a man burglarizing his shed. When the thief aggressively grabbed for Sheedy's gun, the homeowner was forced to shoot, killing the attacker. (The Republic, Phoenix, AZ, 7/19/95)

524. After a police dog failed to find a suspect hiding inside a burglarized Charlottesville, Virginia, auto parts store, owner Thomas Hathaway began cleaning the ransacked area. Walking into the storeroom, a startled Hathaway discovered the burglar still inside and pulled a gun on the intruder, ordering him to lie face down on the floor. Hathaway held him for police, who quickly returned to the scene. (The Daily Progress, Charlottesville, VA, 5/21/95)

525. Upon encountering the intruder in his Hillsboro, Oregon, home, 61-year-old retiree Donald Scarratt ordered the criminal to drop his knife and lie down while he called police. At first the burglar complied. But as police approached the home, the crook--a convicted killer already wanted for violating parole--grew panicked and lunged at the homeowner. Two quick shots put the felon back on the floor where he remained until being taken away in an ambulance. (The Argus, Hillsboro, OR, 6/13/95)

526. Auburndale, Florida, homeowner Rodger Bilbrey cut a boyfriend/girlfriend burglary team's date short after the couple broke into Bilbrey's home unaware that the man was right next door in his nursery. Bilbrey, armed with a .357 Mag., confronted the two as they fled the house. When the male bandit spun around as if handling a weapon, Bilbrey fired once, striking the him in the thigh. The crooked couple briefly escaped in their early 1980s Chevy Nova, only to be arrested minutes later. It was the seventh time in 12 years Bilbrey had been victimized by burglars. (The Tribune, Tampa, FL, 7/25/95)

527. Searching for love or food, a black bear found neither after entering a Clarington, Ohio, home--not once, but twice. The first time the tagged bear entered Margaret Speece's house, she and a friend, Jerry Allen, were able to push the large bruin outside using an ottoman in her living room. When the beast later returned, aggressively tearing a screen from a kitchen window, Allen used a .45 auto to dispatch the animal. (The Intelligencer, Wheeling, WV, 6/13/95)

528. Doyle Hawk grabbed a gun and locked himself in a room where he hoped he would be safe after being awakened by the sound of three burglars bursting through the front door of his Huntsville, Alabama, apartment. When the crooks began banging on the door of the room where Hawks was hiding, the frightened man fired several shots through the door, injuring one. The three men were later arrested at a local hospital. (The Times, Huntsville, AL, 8/1/95)

529. A Parks, Pennsylvania, man, suspected of at least 43 break-ins at elderly residents' homes, was finally arrested after one of his intended victims, a 59-year-old woman who had chased the man from her home with a 20-ga. shotgun, picked him out of a police line-up. The woman had purchased her shotgun following a previous break-in last year. When this intruder came calling, she confronted the crook in her kitchen. The man ran from the woman's home when he saw her armed with the big-bore gun. The face-to-face confrontation offered her a clear view of the suspect. (The Valley News Dispatch, New Kensington, PA, 8/3/95)

530. The young thug became angry after discovering the wallet he had just stolen from a handicapped Bensalem, Pennsylvania, man was empty. Cursing his victim, the robber charged the crutches-bound man and grabbed him. The victim then drew a .25 and fired a shot that "whizzed through the attacker's buttocks." The suspect fled and was later arrested after seeking treatment at a hospital. (Courier Times, Bucks County, PA, 7/12/95)

December, 1995

531. Police believe the man who abducted a Shasta County, California, woman at knife point and forced her to drive her vehicle to a remote location may have been intending to sexually assault her. Instead, when the scruffy would-be rapist stepped from the car for a moment, the woman retrieved a pistol and shot at the man, who fled into the darkness. (The Record Searchlight, Redding, CA, 7/28/95)

532. With police already on the lookout, Scott Fitzgerald decided to join in the search for a would-be housebreaker who had attempted to break into his East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, home where his wife and seven-week-old daughter had been. Fitzgerald spotted the thug in a church yard, gathering his loot from a previous burglary, and confronted him with his 9 mm semi-auto. Despite being told to "Freeze," the criminal dashed into some nearby woods. Fitzgerald alerted the police, who arrested the crook after he was sniffed out by a police dog. (The Herald, Boston, MA, 9/14/95)

533. One crook had already charged out of the Broomfield, Colorado, liquor store with a case of beer tucked under his arm, when a second tried to follow, toting a bottle of rum and a canister of pepper spray. The clerk put a quick end to the second thief's plans of escape, however, by drawing down on the young crook with a .45 cal. semi-automatic pistol and holding him for police. (The Enterprise, Broomfield, CO, 8/17/95)

534. Ninety-two-year-old Conrad Schwarzkopf had been sleeping in his Long Island, New York, home when a punk four times his junior barged into his bedroom and began beating him up. Schwarzkopf tried to fight back, but was just no match for the younger man, and wound up being tossed into a closet. There, as the man ransacked the house searching for money, Schwarzkopf found the semi-automatic pistol he kept in the closet and emerged from its darkness firing, striking his assailant in the hand and chest. The injured criminal immediately ran to a nearby pay phone where he called police and confessed to robbing a house and being shot by the homeowner. (The Times, New York, NY, 9/7195)

535. A Hamden, Connecticut, man tried every way possible to force a pit bull to release his Pekinese puppy from its jaws, including biting the huge, aggressive dog in the head himself. Finally, after a 10-minute struggle, John Phillips drew his pistol and shot the pit bull, killing it. (The Courant, Hartford, CT, 8/30/95)

536. Carla McCoy, a 19-year-old college student, was at her parents' Covington, Georgia, home when she was alerted to a strange man attempting to enter the house through a window. McCoy grabbed a .38, called 911, and then went downstairs to investigate. Reaching the living room, she encountered the intruder, who, at the sight of the gun, begged her not to shoot him and immediately exited the residence from the same window he had entered. McCoy never even had to point the gun at the frightened invader. "I'm extremely thankful that nothing happened here," said the student's father. "The fact that she was armed had something to do with that." (The News, Covington, GA, 8/24/95)

537. When Maria Fernandez hesitated in opening the cash register for the armed robber before her, he reached across the counter to open it himself. The momentary diversion gave Fernandez's husband, Santiago, 76, the chance he needed to stride from the rear of the small Elizabeth, New Jersey, grocery store and shoot the man with his .38. Injured, the crook dropped his gun and ran from the store. He was later arrested at a hospital. (The Star-Ledger, Elizabeth, NJ, 7/6/95)

538. The life of a gang member suspected of participating in as many as seven armed robberies in Fort Wayne, Indiana, came to its inevitable end after an employee of a pawn shop he was holding up fatally shot him. His two accomplices quickly fled the scene. Said Det. Al Glock about the store employee: "That man knows what his rights are and he's willing to go to the utmost degree to protect his rights. I respect him greatly for standing up for what he knows is right. I think that (the shooting) not only is totally justifiable, but it sends a good, clear, strong message that if you're going to play the game, you're going to pay the price." (The News Sentinel, Fort Wayne, IN, 8/17/95)

539. At the sound of screams, 15-year-old Derek Lohman looked out the window of his Washoe Valley, Nevada, home and saw his elderly neighbor being viciously mauled by the man's own dog. Lohman instantly grabbed the pellet gun he had received as a birthday present and charged to the rescue, shooting the dog more than 10 times before the wounded animal gave up its relentless attack. Lohman then lifted his seriously wounded neighbor over a fence and carried him to safety. (The Gazette-Journal, Reno, NV, 9/20/95)

540. An attack in a Big Coppit Key, Florida, apartment turned into a free-for-all after the assailant's hammer broke as he struck a sleeping man in the head. The victim and his girlfriend awoke and began struggling with the intruder, who then retreated to a bathroom where he locked the door. A houseguest, who had been sleeping on the couch, was awakened by the commotion, grabbed his host's firearm and kicked in the bathroom door. He held the suspect for the police. (The Lower Keys Barometer, Big Pine Key, FL, 7/13/95)

541. Knocked to the floor of his Corinth, Mississippi, home by a knife-wielding attacker and told that he was about to be killed, the 80-year-old man offered his money and car keys to the thug in hopes of appeasing him. It was to no avail, however, as the assailant forced the man to a bedroom and again informed him he was about to die. When his tormentor momentarily left the room, the elderly man took his only chance for survival. Grabbing his .38, he charged into the hall and loosed two rounds at his attacker, who immediately fled the home. (The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Tupelo, MS, 9/26/95)

January, 1996

542. Plans to slay everyone in the Muskegon, Michigan, store and steal enough cash and jewelry to feed their "gnawing hunger for crack cocaine" fell apart for a band of would-be killers after one of their victims fought back. Store owner Clare Cooper was returning behind the counter after showing three of the four conspirators some jewelry, when one of the group pulled out a gun and shot him four times in the back. Stumbling for the safety of his bullet-proof glass-encased counter, Cooper managed to grab his shotgun and fire as the suspects fled. They were all later apprehended and the three present during the shooting face life imprisonment. (The Chronicle, Muskegon, MI, 8/23/95)

543. It was only 15 minutes after police visited his Wyoming, Minnesota, home to warn his family of two robbery suspects believed to be at large in the area, when Mike Stich discovered a man and woman hiding beneath a blanket in the bed of his pickup truck. With the police warning in mind, Stich had toted his wife's .25 cal. handgun with him when he went outside to move his truck. Noticing movement under a blanket in the truck's bed, Stich parked the truck, circled to its rear, and ordered the fugitive couple out of his truck at gunpoint. Stich commanded the suspects to stand against a tree while his son ran inside and had Stich's wife call police. (The Times, Forest Lake, MN, 9/21/95)

544. One assailant had already squirted pepper spray into the eyes of Daytona Beach, Florida, cab driver Harry C. Heck, Sr., and the other was threatening to slice him with a Bowie knife, when the former police officer did the only thing he could--he drew his .25 cal. Beretta tucked in the center armrest and fired. Heck's shots wounded one of his attackers as the other fled. The incident occurred just a week after another area cab driver was stabbed to death, and this was the second time Heck had used a handgun to thwart a robbery and protect his life. (The News-Journal, Daytona Beach, FL, 10/21/95)

545. Lisa Woods' ex-boyfriend had already broken into her Anderson, South Carolina, apartment once that night, hitting her in the head before police arrived, scaring him away. Four hours later, the man returned, brazenly forced his way into the home, and sprayed a friend of Woods' with Mace. When the homebreaker attempted the same treatment on Woods, she shot him once, mortally wounding him. The ex-boyfriend had already been put on trespass notice at the apartment complex where Woods lived because of prior harassment incidents. (The News, Greenville, SC, 8/25/95)

546. Joann Harrison decided to buy her first gun for protection after someone cut her telephone lines and slashed a window screen at her Anderson, South Carolina, home. Just three weeks later, Harrison was forced to fire that gun at an intruder who broke into her home after cutting power to the house. A single shot from her .22 cal. revolver sent the man fleeing to a nearby yard where he collapsed from a fatal bullet wound to the chest. (The Independent/Mail, Anderson, SC, 7/28/95)

547. Cincinnati, Ohio, grocer Delmas Joe Penley turned from the counter to make a sandwich for a customer when the man began savagely beating him on the head with a blunt object. His head cut and bleeding, Penley fought back, grabbing his .38 and shooting his attacker twice in the abdomen before stumbling from the store. When a police SWAT team entered the store three hours later, they found the suspect dead with a wad of cash from the register clenched in his fist. (The Enquirer, Cincinnati, OH, 9/30/95)

548. Charlotte, North Carolina, resident Joel Smith pulled behind his bank after discovering it was being held up and alerted police to the situation from his cellular phone. The self-employed contractor planned to follow the robber once he fled in order to give police directions. Instead, the armed bandit charged from the bank firing shots across the shopping center parking lot and headed right for Smith, demanding his truck. Fearful for his life, Smith grabbed his .45 from atop his console and fired, mortally wounding the crook. (The Observer, Charlotte, NC, 9/28/95)

549. As Hackensack, New Jersey, grocer George Jesus' wife looked on in horror, a trio of thugs never gave her husband the chance to respond to their demands for cash before one of them fired a bullet into his left eye. Despite the blinding injury, Jesus grabbed his .38 Smith & Wesson from a shelf above the register and began shooting back, killing one of the bandits and forcing the others to flee. The surviving suspects were later arrested. (The Record, Hackensack, NJ, 10/8/95)

550. Moving furniture for a friend in a U-Haul truck, 50-year-old John Carder had pulled over and was taking a nap in a Sun Valley, California, park when he was rudely awakened by an armed thug threatening to kill him. The highwayman robbed Carder of $140 and his wristwatch and left, only to return later searching for more valuables. Having had enough, Carder pulled a .380 semi-automatic pistol from beneath the seat and let his assailant have a few rounds. The wounded crook staggered off to his nearby house where he was later found dead. "Carder was nearly murdered. He probably would have been if he hadn't defended himself," said Det. Charles Uribe of the LAPD's North Hollywood Division. (The Daily News, San Fernando Valley, CA, 10/6/95)

551. Everything was going as planned for four men who had just ambushed a Wells Fargo truck as it made a pick-up at a clothing store. The truck's two guards were under the gun and helpless to fight back when the owner of the store and a security guard stormed from the business, firing shots at the bandits. The counter-assault created a diversion that allowed the Wells Fargo guards a chance to unholster their arms. In the ensuing gunfight, the perpetrators dropped the money and fled. No one was injured. (The Herald, Miami, FL, 9/12/95)

February, 1996

552. Portland, Oregon, resident Ernie Robinson was leaving for work when a neighbor ran from her home screaming that a strange man was in her house. Robinson retrieved his 9mm from his home and upon exiting the house, encountered the approaching stranger, clad only in black jeans. Robinson asked the unwelcome visitor what he was up to, but the man answered only with silence and continued toward him, jumping a fence and backing him into his garage. With nowhere left to go, Robinson fired his gun, mortally wounding the intruder. (The Oregonian, Portland, OR, 9/6/95)

553. "In this case, we had someone just as bold as the person who went in to rob them," said Anderson, Indiana, Police Chief Ron Rheam of a citizen who put an end to a liquor store robbery by critically wounding the bandit. Danny Groce was in the store visiting his wife, clerk Barbara Groce, when the suspect strode in the store, forced everyone to the floor, and demanded cash from the register. Concerned for his wife, Danny Groce stood up, drew his legally concealed handgun and shot the man. (The Herald Bulletin, Anderson, IN, 10/19/95)

554. William G. Lowery, 86, was just being helpful when he let a man into his home who said he needed to use a phone. Once inside, the man drew a gun on the elderly Denver, Colorado, resident. Lowery's nephew, John Kenneth Real, seeing what was happening from another room, drew his own gun and fired, fatally wounding the intruder. Police believe the deceased criminal, whose record included a previous burglary conviction, may have broken into another home earlier that evening. (The Post, Denver, CO, 10/14/95)

555. "We can't cope with robberies like the big chain convenience stores. If somebody robs us of $3,000 or $4,000 we've had it--we're out of business," said Carl O. Wilford in support of his son, who killed an armed robber during a hold-up at the family's Murrayville, Georgia, convenience store. The junior Wilford had been working in the store when a man entered the business and aimed a pistol at him. In response, the clerk pulled his own handgun and twice shot the suspect. (The Times, Murrayville, GA, 9/23/95)

556. A "grandparent-aged" Princess Anne, Maryland, homeowner confronted an armed man who had just crashed through the window of his house and used an unloaded rifle to club the intruder and subdue him for police. Upon arriving at the house to arrest the homebreaker, sheriff's deputies discovered the assailant to be one of two suspects wanted for the shooting death of a Maryland State Trooper earlier that evening. The arrest led to the discovery that the other suspect was still nearby. He was consequently captured the following day. (The Post, Washington, DC, 10/18/95)

557. There was a wanted man on the run in Bob Cummins' Pearl, Mississippi, neighborhood, so he alerted neighbors, checked on nearby relatives and returned home for a bite to eat with his .40 cal. Browning semi-auto by his side. Surprisingly, a knock on the door a little while later revealed the man for whom police were searching requesting to use Cummins' phone. Cummins permitted the man to enter, whereupon he pulled his gun on the fugitive, saying "No, sir, you are not the one who is going to make a phone call--I am." Cummins held him for police, who arrived a quick 911 call later. The suspect had led police on a 20-mile high-speed chase after they attempted to arrest him on a warrant for aggravated assault. (The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, MS, 10/22/95)

558. Thieves left four speakers behind after stealing $20,000 worth of musical equipment from Michael Allen's van. Figuring the culprits would return the next evening to collect the remainder of their loot, the Fremont, California, accountant decided to set a trap by borrowing a friend's pistol, taking a crash course on how to use it, and lying in wait. Allen's calculations proved correct when a teen skulked into the back of the van and snatched a speaker. Allen confronted the sneak while his girlfriend called police. Within minutes, two accomplices were caught nearby and confessed to the crime, leading police to the stolen equipment. (The Mercury News, San Jose, CA, 11/4/95)

559. After a strange car pulled up in front of her rural home for a second time, the lone Griswold, Connecticut, woman telephoned her brother to come and investigate. But before he could arrive, the woman was forced to grab her .22 cal. rifle and confront a teenager breaking in through a locked window. Her brother, who had already dialed police, appeared moments later where he captured three more accomplices waiting outside. (The Bulletin, Norwich, CT, 10/10/95)

560. Despite a trespass notice and several arrests, an Orlando, Florida, man relentlessly stalked his former girlfriend, Judy Davis, for more than a year, physically attacking her, running her off the road and breaking into her home on at least two occasions. Following a brief stint in jail, a judge released Davis' tormentor after he promised to stay away from her forever. His promise was only good for six days before he returned to Davis' home and chased her inside. There the victim grabbed her .38 cal. revolver and fired, dropping the man to the floor. Getting back to his feet and fleeing, the wounded stalker was captured by police hours later. (The Sentinel, Orlando, FL, 11/16/95)

561. Two alleged bandits had just robbed Deandre Hodge in her Shreveport, Louisiana, home and were making their getaway, when one of the men fired several shots at the robbery victim. Hodge defended herself with her SKS rifle, mortally wounding the trigger-happy suspect. The driver of the car was taken to the police station for questioning. No charges were filed in the case. (The Times, Shreveport, LA, 10/7/95)

562. Forced to the back of a Houston, Texas, pawn shop by one of two armed robbers, Thomas Perez drew his own gun, shooting and killing the man. He then exchanged shots with the other robber, wounding him. The bandit fled on foot but was later arrested by police. (The Chronicle, Houston, TX, 11/9/95)

563. They Didn't Plan On Leaving Witnesses

After saying goodbye to his wife, Mary, Brian Rigsby left their home outside Atlanta, Georgia, to pick up his friend Tom Styer for an impromptu camping trip on the afternoon of Saturday, November 24, 1990.

Getting a late start and making a few wrong turns in the Oconee National Forest, the two friends didn't arrive at their campsite until well after dark. They'd chosen a spot convenient to the public rifle range in Oconee, and eagerly looked forward to some target practice the next day.

By the light of a lantern, the friends pitched a tent and then built a campfire. They were settling in for the night when they heard the distinctive growl of a diesel engine approaching. Shortly thereafter, a truck pulled up, right into the middle of the camp. Rigsby noticed that it was a work truck, with the name of a business painted on the side.

Two men got out and introduced themselves, explaining that they were driving around to meet people and help out. Exceedingly polite, the visitors insisted on helping Rigsby and Styer cut more firewood. During their hour-long stay, the courteous duo depicted themselves as long-time residents of the area, boasting about their extensive knowledge of the surrounding woods.

Rigsby remembers feeling uncomfortable with the two men, and relieved when they finally left. He even considered moving the camp to another location. But before any firm decision could be reached, Rigsby and Styer heard the truck's diesel engine once again driving down the road toward their camp. It was the only road in.

The truck stopped before reaching the camp, and its engine abruptly cut off. In the quiet that followed, Rigsby and Styer heard the faint crackle of leaves rustling as their former visitors stole toward the campsite.

When the two friends realized they were being stalked, each grabbed his gun and made sure it was loaded. Rigsby took cover behind his truck, armed with a Ruger Mini-14 with a 30-round magazine, while Styer knelt in the tent's shadow with his .45 pistol at the ready.

Rigsby was shocked and filled with disbelief. "I tried to listen for the men," he recalls, "but couldn't hear much over the sound of my breathing and the pounding of my heart."

It was Styer that saw them first. One of the men slid suddenly into the light cast by the campfire, pointing his double-barrelled shotgun in Rigsby's direction. Afraid he would actually shoot, Rigsby kept his head down, and heard Styer ask the man why he came back with a gun. In reply, the man swung the shotgun toward Styer and answered, "I'm going to kill you."

Styer instructed the intruder to drop his gun. Instead, the intruder fired, hitting Styer in the legs.

Rigsby remembers seeing the front sight of his Mini-14 centered on the assailant's chest. He fired twice. Quickly swinging the rifle toward the second attacker's position, Rigsby fired six or seven additional rounds, determining his point of aim by the flash from the other man 's muzzle against the blackness of the surrounding forest.

Partially blinded by the flash from his own muzzle, Rigsby dropped back down behind his truck. He looked underneath the frame, across the campsite. Seeing no one, he yelled for help. There was no answer. He called out to Styer, but heard no response.

Rigsby knew that the first attacker was down and no longer a threat. But the other gunman was out there, somewhere. Rigsby strained his ears, trying to hear any movement in the nearby trees. He heard nothing. He looked around the camp and beyond it into the woods, but still saw no one. Waiting a few minutes, he called again to Styer, but his friend still did not answer.

Rigsby then began to move slowly and cautiously backward, away from the camp. Seeing a light through the trees, he started toward it. Amazingly, he found a camp filled with hunters about 300 yds. away.

One of the hunters hurried away to call the police, who responded and immediately placed Rigsby under arrest. They returned to the scene of the attack and found Styer, still alive.

The shotgun-wielding attacker had been hit twice and died at the scene. His accomplice was also hit twice, but survived. Both carried 12-ga. scatterguns loaded with 3" magnum buckshot, and both had fired their weapons at Rigsby and Styer.

The two friends gave statements to the police, whereupon Rigsby was released from custody and Styer was taken to the local hospital. In his statement, the surviving gunman admitted he and his accomplice had returned to rob the campers, a crime they had planned while smoking crack cocaine following their initial visit to the campsite. The surviving gunman was subsequently charged with aggravated assault, convicted and released on probation.

Later, an officer told Brian Rigsby and Tom Styer that police were convinced the pair of attackers would have murdered both campers; when introducing themselves, the deceptively courteous men had used their real names and drove a truck owned by their employer. Apparently, they didn't plan to leave any witnesses to their crime.

(Ed. Note: Although Brian Rigsby's Mini-14 was not on the list of so-called "assault weapons" prohibited by the 1994 gun ban, with a few cosmetic changes, it would meet the criteria established therein by the 103rd Congress. All magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds were banned.)

March, 1996

564. The crook pressed the barrel of his .38 tight against 70-year-old Robert Avery's lips and demanded cash in the Milledgeville, Georgia, country store Meanwhile, a second robber made a move toward the cash register. When the first bandit was momentarily distracted by his accomplice's movements, Avery attempted to wrest the firearm away. In the ensuing struggle, Avery fell on his back, and succeeded in drawing his own .22 Mag. pistol from his pocket. The sight of the pistol sent the criminals scurrying from the store. (The Union-Recorder, Milledgeville, GA, 10/31/95)

565. The Rockingham County, Virginia, woman had already dialed 911 after discovering the door to her home ajar, when a Halloween-masked suspect charged from another room and slashed her with a knife. Suffering two cuts, the woman dashed upstairs where she barricaded herself in a bedroom, grabbed her 12-ga. shotgun, and fired a single shot at the intruder through the door. Police were still searching for the suspect, who fled the home on foot without any valuables. (The Daily News-Record, Harrisonburg, VA, 10/24/95)

566. Despite her frail condition, 82-year-old Elva Holsclaw of Martinsville, Virginia, fought valiantly when a knife-wielding housebreaker stole into her bedroom and attacked her. Nearly three times older than her assailant, Holsclaw routed the man with a single shot from a handgun she kept next to her bed, fatally wounding him. Tragically, Holsclaw died days later from injuries sustained in the attack, and police were investigating the possibility of a second suspect. (The Bulletin, Martinsville, VA, 11/17/95)

567. The 38-year-old man yelled at the four South Charleston, South Carolina, youths to stop beating the pedestrian they were robbing with sticks, as his son ran in the house to call police. While his orders to cease the attack went ignored, the sharp report from his .22 cal. rifle did not, and the youths quickly bounded off. A block away, one of the teens fell down with a gunshot wound to the leg; police soon after arrested him. The victim's wallet was found nearby. No charges were filed against the armed citizen. (The Post and Courier, Charleston, SC, 10/24/95)

568. Ottis Spigelmyer, manager of a Reading, Pennsylvania, bus terminal, was working at his desk when the barrel of a sawed-off shotgun was stuck in his face by one of three armed robbers. Spigelmyer pleaded with the man not to hurt anyone and agreed to give him money, but instead retrieved his own revolver and fired, mortally wounding the shotgun-wielding crook. Spigelmyer, who has a concealed carry permit, also fired at the other two robbers, who ran for their lives. Authorities said the shooting was justified. (The Times, Reading, PA, 10/13/95)

569. Salvatore DeLorenzo, 72, was gardening in his Ridge, NewYork, backyard when two pit bulls from a neighboring home jumped upon the man, dragging him to the ground and biting him. Seeing his father felled by the canines, DeLorenzo's son grabbed a 20-ga. shotgun and fired a single blast, hitting one of the dogs in the leg. Before he could fire again, both beasts ran from the yard. (Newsday, Long Island, NY, 10/20/95)

570. During an armed robbery outside of a Birmingham, Alabama, library, 79-year-old Cyril Johnson was shot in the chest by his assailant as his wife looked on in horror. Wounded, Johnson fell to the ground and drew his own handgun, fatally wounding the criminal. Johnson was expected to survive his injuries. (The News, Birmingham, AL, 12/2/95)

571. Judy Stanton's crazed former boyfriend had already killed four people, including a four-month-old girl, in a Columbus, Ohio, shooting spree and was now headed for Ashland to get her. Just as Stanton and her husband, Doug, prepared to flee their home with their four children, the assailant arrived, firing at least three rounds through a back door before kicking it in. Doug retumed fire with his own handgun, striking the killer in the chest. Though the shots failed to seriously injure the bulletproof-vest-clad suspect, they did encourage a swift retreat. Soon after, he surrendered to police. "He would've killed them," Columbus Police Sgt. James Longerbone said of the suspect. "And who knows where he would've gone from there." (The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus, OH, 11/21/95)

572. Tom Bakis understood the robbers' demands even over the frightened screams of his wife. Compliantly, he walked to the cash register of his Waukegan, Illinois, mini-mart. But instead of drawing cash from the drawer he drew his .380, and suddenly the two masked men lost their taste for the crime. Bakis pursued them into the street, where another motorist was able to get enough of a description for police and arrests were soon made. (The News-Sun, Waukegan, IL, 12/9/95)

573. A teenaged burglar's early morning search for beer in an Idaho Falls, Idaho, bar came to a flat end after he smashed the business's front window, tripping an alamm. Answering the call first was the building's owner, who caught the crook in the act and held him at gunpoint for police. (The Post Register, Idaho Falls, ID, 12/7/95)

574. When the bandit grabbed Khaled Al-Yasin's 17-year-old son and put a gun to his head, Al-Yasin pulled his own fireamm and ducked behind an aisle in the back of his Minneapolis, Minnesota, mini-market. Demanding that Al-Yasin drop his gun and give him cash or he would kill the boy, the criminal met only steely resistance as the shopkeeper refused, fearing that the moment he dropped his own gun, the crook would tum killer, slaying both him and his son. Foiled, the crook released his hostage and left the store. It was the fourth time in three months that the store had been robbed. (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, 11/28/95)

April, 1996

575. When three men attempted to rob Cleon Sumner in his Vicco, Kentucky home, Sumner fought back by shooting at his attackers, killing one and wounding another as the third man fled. Sumner suffered only a minor head injury and the third suspect was later arrested. Sumner was not charged with any wrongdoing. (The Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY, 12/17/95)

576. The justice system had failed to protect Wichita, Kansas, resident Carla Grayson from a violent ex-boyfriend. After three years of physical abuse, 19 arrest warrants (all of which went ignored by her tormentor as he repeatedly neglected to appear in court), and the filing of no-contact orders, Grayson put an end to the situation. When the abuser burst into her home, she shot him dead. No charges were filed. (The Eagle, Wichita, KS, 12/17/95)

577. A masked housebreaker almost pondered a bit too long as he stared down the barrel of Marsha Beatty's 9 mm. The criminal, one of a gang of four, burst into the bedroom of her Fort Wayne, Indiana, home, but Beatty grabbed his Tec-9 and stuck her own autoloader between his eyes, ordering him to drop the pistol. When he hesitated, the householder announced, "All right, I'm going to kill you." That halted his indecision and he ran, pursued by Beatty and her roommate, who had taken up her own 9 mm. "When they saw two women with guns, they ran," Beatty said later. (The News Sentinel, Fort Wayne, IN, 12/6/95)

578. Enid, Oklahoma, resident Anthony Martin first heard his doorbell ring, then heard the sound of somebody kicking in his back door. Martin grabbed his shotgun and went to investigate, meeting two juveniles in his hallway. Martin held the housebreakers, one of them armed with a big knife, for police, but before they could arrive, one of them fled. The remaining suspect was taken into custody and his accomplice was arrested a short time later. (The News & Eagle, Enid, OK, 11/30/95)

579. "Even the Lord's house isn't holy anymore for these people. If they're crazy enough to do something like this to a holy place, there's no telling what they'd do," said Knoxville, Tennessee, pastor Ted Padgett after using a handgun to capture a man burglarizing the church office. Alerted by a church custodian, Rev. Padgett retrieved his .22 from the trunk of his car and entered the church where he came face to face with the stunned intruder, a parolee. He then stood the criminal against a wall and patted him down as the two waited for police. (The News-Sentinel, Knoxville, TN, 11/30/95)

580. When a young Prather, California, woman ran to a local church for protection after being threatened by a violent family member, the pastor unhesitatingly offered her sanctuary. When the woman's tormentor arrived with a firearm at the pastor's door, he exchanged words with the minister and shot him in the hand. Wounded, the pastor slammed the door shut. His assailant managed to kick it open, but not before the pastor was able to retrieve his own firearm. Forced to defend himself, the pastor fired a single point-blank shot, killing his attacker. (The Mountain Press, Prather, CA, 12/13/95)

581. A prison minister from Little Rock, Arkansas, Jack Seaver was used to dealing with tough men. So when one of three teenaged bandits turned angrily toward Seaver after robbing him in his home and approached with knife in hand, the minister understood he had to defend himself. Quickly, he grabbed his .22-caliber rifle and began firing, striking his aggressor. Police later arrested the wounded suspect and one of his accomplices. "I wasn't going to shoot anybody at all until I felt threatened," the minister said. (The Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock, AR, 1/6/96)

582. Two would-be armed robbers found that a real .357 trumps a BB gun every time when they tried to hit a Fort Wayne, Indiana, grocery store. Assistant manager Shaun Imbody quickly identified the criminals' phony armament and ordered, "Put down your toy, the game is over." State police, staking the business out, immediately entered the store and arrested the pair. A police official noted that Imbody's knowledge of guns and quick action saved the police a nighttime chase of the two crooks. (The Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne, IN, 1/1/96)

583. Pistol in hand, Vu Vinh Vuong dashed from the kitchen of his family's Savannah Georgia, restaurant at the sound of his mother's screams. Encountering an armed bandit clad in a red ski mask in the dining room, Vuong opened fire, hitting his assailant and sending him running. The injured suspect was arrested minutes later. Vuong's father, Do, had decided to purchase the pistol after a previous robbery left both father and son, then unarmed, seriously wounded by gunfire. (The News-Press, Savannah, GA, 1/22/96)

584. The teenaged bandits had just robbed Jacksonville, Florida, store clerk Joe Joseph at gunpoint and were attempting to make a getaway when they found their escape foiled by a locked door. Armed and cornered, the thugs turned back toward the clerk, who fired a single shot from the pistol he had retrieved from beneath the counter. The same bullet struck both crooks, killing one and wounding the other. (The Times-Union Jacksonville, FL, 12/20/95)

585. Charles Robinson and his wife, Jan had just closed their Sacramento, California, pizzeria when two thugs shoved revolvers in their backs and ordered them to the ground of the parking lot. With the day's receipts taken from him, Robinson heard gunfire erupt. Fearing that his wife had been shot, the businessman leapt to his feet and pulled a handgun from his waistband. Shots were exchanged and the crooks, one of them wounded, fled. Police soon stopped the suspects' speeding car, arresting one and taking the other to a hospital where he died. Robinson's wife was not hurt. (The Bee, Sacramento, CA, 1/31/96)

May, 1996

586. Police called Timothy Pastuck a hero after the Queens, New York, man came to the aid of a neighbor being savagely beaten with a baseball bat and steam iron by her boyfriend. Pastuck retrieved his unlicensed .22 cal. Ruger rifle and ordered the batterer to stop, and when the man refused, he shot him three times, wounding him. Despite the accolades from the public and law enforcement, Pastuck was initially charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful possession of a weapon. After 14 hours in jail, the first two charges were dropped. Pastuck then spent 2 1/2 hours in court where the district attorney finally decided to drop the weapons charge. "You try to do the right thing, and the next thing you know you're in the system...I don't know what they want; people, citizens, to react, don't react," said Pastuck. (Newsday, Long Island, NY, 2/8/96)

587. Sharonda McMurray was working at a Norcross, Georgia, deli when her former boyfriend charged into the business in a rage and began repeatedly stabbing her with a knife. Customer Dennis Benton tackled the assailant, suffering a cut himself before the suspect broke free and ran outside. NRA Life Member Myron Petro, also a patron at the time of the attack, followed, noted the license plate number of the suspect's car, and retrieved his own handgun from his vehicle. Moments later, the attacker returned to the deli with another knife and began stabbing McMurray again. Petro ordered the man to drop his weapon, but the knife-wielding attacker instead charged Petro, who shot him five times, killing him. (The Journal-Constitution, Atlanta, GA, 2/22/96)

588. An 81-year-old Oakland, California, man was entering his apartment when a hoodlum approached from behind, knocked him to the floor and began beating him savagely in the face and head. About to lose consciousness, the elderly man managed to reach a .32 cal. he kept on a nearby shelf and fired once at his assailant, wounding him in the neck. (The Tribune, Oakland, CA, 11/23/95)

589. Police believe Susan Rood's former husband, armed with a shotgun, broke into the Lakewood, Colorado, apartment intending to kill Rood and her boyfriend, Lance Garner. Instead, Garner armed himself and routed the assailant's attack. Wounded by Garner, Rood 's former husband turned his shotgun on himself and committed suicide. Although Garner was injured in the fight, Susan Rood went unharmed. (The Post, Denver, CO, 12/19/96)

590. Perry and Debra Jones were in bed in their Waller, Texas, home when a burglar wearing surgical gloves, black clothes, and camouflage around his head and neck smashed through their bedroom window and began climbing into the home. Perry Jones shouted for the man to halt, but he refused. Jones then grabbed a shotgun he kept by his bed and fired a single fatal blast at the intruder. Two accomplices were arrested later that evening. (The Chronicle, Houston, TX, 12/21/95)

591. The masked man strode into the Leitersburg, Maryland, liquor store suspiciously holding his hand in his pocket and demanded that store owner Dennis Wayne Gigeous fill a paper bag full of money and then lie on the floor behind the counter. Gigeous instead grabbed a handgun from beneath the counter and fired at his assailant, who fled outside and crouched behind a van. The store owner followed and fired several more shots outside, wounding the bandit. He then held the would-be robber for police. (The Morning Herald, Hagerstown, MD, 12/19/95)

592. "The truth of the matter is people are tired of these thugs breaking the law. They're taking care of business," said Orange County, Florida, Sheriff Kevin Beary following the death of a 16-year-old bandit who tried to rob citizen John T. Pride at a pay phone. Instead of cash, Pride, who has a carry permit, pulled out his .380 pistol and fatally shot his assailant, marking the eighth time in 18 months that a criminal had been killed by his intended victim in Central Florida. Most of the defensive shootings have taken place in people's homes. "I've always been one that believes you have a right to protect your property," Beary said. "If someone breaks into my home, he's not walking out." (The Sentinel, Orlando, FL, 1/5/96)

593. When a pair of masked men burst into a Salisbury, Maryland, home to rob a group of people gathered there, Terry Wood darted for his bedroom where his handgun was stored. Moments later, peeking from behind the bedroom door, Wood encountered one of the bandits pointing a firearm at him. Wood raised his own gun and shot the man. The two crooks fled, but the wounded suspect collapsed in a nearby yard and died later that evening. (The Daily Times, Salisbury, MD, 1/20/96)

594. A female bandit used an all-too-real-looking BB pistol to get the drop on a Jackson, Tennessee, hotel night clerk. While the robber's attention was on the cash register, the clerk locked himself in the office, where he watched the woman on a closed circuit television and armed himself with a .38. Unable to leave through the lobby's locked door, the robber began pounding on the office door. The clerk opened fire through the door, killing her. (The Sun, Jackson, TN, 1/19/96)

595. Jensen, Utah, rancher Gary Snow suspected a predator when he couldn't locate his herd of 95 sheep. Shotgun in hand, Snow had not searched long before two rottweilers charged him from the banks of the Green River as if to attack. Snow shot the two dogs just 30 ft. away and to his horror, discovered that they had chased his sheep more than a mile and into the river, mauling them along the way. Of the 70 sheep killed, those not slaughtered by the dogs drowned after their wool became weighted down by the water. (The Express, Vernal, UT, 1/17/96)

June, 1996

596. James Snipes came to the front of his Tradesville, South Carolina, convenience store to check on a customer when the man abruptly pulled a long-bladed knife and began stabbing him. Snipes used his left arm to absorb the blows, suffering numerous stab wounds before finally managing to draw his .38 from a pocket and mortally wound his attacker. (The Herald, Rock Hill, SC, 12/28/95)

597. With the burglar alarm blaring, a White Center, Washington, housebreaker splintered 65-year-old Rich Russell's front door, rendering the deadbolt ineffective. Russell and his wife, Marina, listened to the burglar rummaging around outside their bedroom door for a few moments before everything got quiet. Russell grabbed his revolver and decided to investigate, discovering the man still inside his home. Despite the homeowner's warnings that he would shoot, the intruder approached, eliciting a single fatal gunshot. (The Times, Seattle, WA, 1/28/96)

598. Continuing a nightlong robbery spree in which he had successfully hit four businesses including the same doughnut shop twice, a Jacksonville, Florida, bandit marched into a Prime Stop Food Store and demanded cash from clerk Edna Teagle. Instead, the woman drew a gun and chased the man away. Teagle then notified another nearby Prime Stop location to warn the clerk. As they spoke, the bandit strolled into the other store. Thanks to Teagle's warning, the clerk was able to get the jump on the bandit and send him fleeing as well. (The Times-Union, Jacksonville, FL, 2/3/96)

599. Dave Montgomery grabbed his .22-cal. semi-automatic rifle from the gun cabinet and went to investigate the ruckus outside on his Battle Mountain, Nevada, farm. Rounding the side of the barn, Montgomery came face to face with a wolf trying to get to his pigs and chickens. The canine charged the farmer at "full bore," but was finally halted by a volley of shots. Montgomery fired more than seven times before the animal ceased his attack. (The Daily Free Press, Elko, NV, 2/6/96)

600. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, resident David Sloane expected the thieves to return for the items needed to operate the electronic equipment they had stolen the night before. Sloane was waiting behind a fence in freezing temperatures when he heard his car alarm wail. The criminals scattered and Sloane, a former Texas deputy, grabbed his .45 and a pair of handcuffs and tracked the suspects' footprints through snow to a neighbor's house, where he found two teenage brothers hiding in some bushes. One froze as Sloane commanded. The other fled, but was later picked up by police. "They grabbed the wrong stereo," Sloane said. "Not all victims are passive." (The Daily Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, OK, 2/7/96)

601. Kade Marsh clung to the side of his mother's stolen Nissan Pathfinder as the three crooks inside the vehicle sped from a Lindon, Utah, restaurant parking lot. The driver swerved toward concrete overpass supports and parked vehicles at speeds up to 90 m.p.h., attempting to knock Marsh loose. As the trio slowed coming around a corner, Steve Strate, a citizen following the Pathfinder, forced it to the side of the road with his own truck and held the car thieves for police with his licensed .38. (The Tribune, Salt Lake City, UT, 2/16/96)

602. "A person who invades the sanctity of another person's home as heavily armed as this assailant is not there for tea and crumpets," said Johnson County, Indiana, Prosecutor Lance Hamner in refusing to seek charges against James Hynes. Hynes killed the estranged wife of a business partner after the masked woman broke into his house in November 1995, armed with a firearm, switchblade and stun gun. The assailant was pointing a gun at Hynes' daughter's head, when his wife slipped him a gun, allowing him to defend his family. (The News, Indianapolis, IN, 2/16/96)

603. The man strode into the Conroe, Texas, trailer company, walked to the office and pointed a gun at his former employer, Boyd Odom. "I thought I was dead," said Odom. Instead, his daughter, Linda Cates, also in the office, diverted the former employee's attention by standing up with her own gun in hand. The two traded shots before Odom's son, Dale, charged from another room and tackled the assailant. Nobody was seriously hurt in the incident. (The Courier, Conroe, TX, 2/17/96)

604. Juana Hernandez reacted instinctively when she saw the robber point a gun at her husband's head. Reaching beneath the counter of their Wilmington, Delaware, store, Hernandez grabbed a gun and started shooting, striking the assailant in the face. He was later arrested after appearing at a local hospital for treatment. (The News Journal, Wilmington, DE, 2/17/96)

605. A Kentucky man in search of spending money for Mardi Gras broke into a Slidell, Louisiana, gift shop unaware that store owner Jim Griffin was in the back. Alerted to the intruder, Griffin armed himself and went to investigate. The store owner opened fire upon encountering the man, but missed. However, in his frightened dash from the store, the burglar ran head long into a steel bar across the front door and knocked several teeth out. Police arrested the suspect at a nearby hospital. (The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, LA, 2/22/96)

606. Crooks have found little success at a Bakersfield, California, liquor store where four assailants have met their deaths during robbery attempts over the past seven years. In the most recent incident, a masked robber armed with a BB gun resembling a semi-auto pistol turned toward clerk Craig Castle before leaving with the store's money. Castle fired a single fatal shot. (The Californian, Bakersfield, CA, 2/24/96)

July, 1996

607. "Thank God we have the constitutional right to bear arms. Let's hope they never take that away from us," said Vietnam veteran Mike Patton of Midvale, Utah, after he used a .38 to protect his wife and home from an armed 17-year-old housebreaker. Awakened by his barking dog, Patton confronted the intruder in his basement and fired three shots before holding him for police. (The Desert News, Salt Lake City, UT, 2/25/96)

608. A pair of Long Island, New York, thieves, who police believe used various scams to gain entry into the homes of elderly and disabled residents, were finally apprehended thanks to the quick thinking of an armed citizen. After Luise Starke, who is legally blind, led one of the suspects to the basement when he said he was there to service the oil burner, her husband, Alan, heard another man enter the home. Suspecting trouble, he dialed 911 and grabbed his side-by-side shotgun, which he used to detain both suspects for law enforcement officials. (Newsday, Long Island, NY, 3/1/96)

609. Drinking and "up to no good," the three thugs--all convicted felons with histories of "assaultive behavior"-- approached the lone figure on a Staunton, Virginia, street, and one of the punks attacked the pedestrian. Suffering several blows, the man, a carry permit holder, drew his .45 and loosed eight shots at his assailant, wounding him, stopping the attack and chasing off the other miscreants. The district attorney refused to press charges, saying, "We believed he acted in total self defense. The concealed weapon kept this victim from being further injured." (The Daily News Leader, Staunton, VA, 3/5/96)

610. The Hurst, Texas, woman called her husband from the car phone to let him know that she thought she was being followed. When she pulled into her driveway, a man jumped from a white Ford Mustang and pointed a gun at her, ordering her from her vehicle. That's when the woman's husband emerged from their home with a 9 mm and chased the suspect away. "I think both of us would have been dead if I hadn't had my gun," said the husband. (The Morning News, Dallas, TX, 3/9/96)

611. It was the second time in six months Ali Ghaben had been held up in his Columbus, Ohio, market and for the second time, the situation ended with the suspect being shot and arrested. Ghaben had been tending his shop when the lone, ski mask-clad robber strolled in and drew a pair of handguns, demanding cash. When another employee walked into the store, his presence distracted the crook and gave Ghaben the chance he needed to grab his firearm and shoot. (The Dispatch, Columbus, OH, 3/11/96)

612. The robber pointed the pistol at Robert Shelton and pulled the trigger. The gun failed to fire and a struggle ensued with the bandit continuing to futilely pull the trigger and his accomplice running from the store. Shelton's wife, Becky, was alerted to the confrontation when the fight spilled into the rear office. In an effort to save her husband, she grabbed a .38 and shot the attacker several times, killing him. (The Morning News, Dallas, TX, 3/17/96)

613. Patrick Tansy walked into the kitchen of his Klamath County, Oregon, home to investigate some noises when somebody clubbed him with a large flashlight. Finding himself in a fierce struggle with two burglars, Tansy, his scalp gashed and bleeding, managed to break free and make it to a .50 cal muzzleloader he kept loaded in another room. He fired, shattering the arm of one of the intruders, both of whom fled the property. The two men were quickly apprehended after Tansy, on the way to the hospital, saw the suspects and called police from his cellular phone. (The Bulletin, Bend, OR, 3/27/96)

614. The bandit held Albuquerque, New Mexico, ice rink owner Bob Martin and his employee at gun point demanding money from the business' safe. Once handed the cash, the thief laid his gun between his feet to stuff the loot into his fanny pack and pockets. Martin used the moment to grab the .38 he was carrying and loose a fatal round. The District Attorney declared Martin justified in killing the robber, who had a "long criminal 'rap sheet.'"(The Journal, Albuquerque, NM, 3/23/96)

615. Redlands, California, sheriff's deputies credited an armed citizen with helping them capture four men and two juveniles who had just robbed a convenience store and pointed a gun at a plain clothes police officer as they made their initial getaway. Following a short chase all the suspects were captured. "One of the guys was detained at gunpoint by a resident who really helped us," Sheriff's Sgt. Bobby Phillips said. "He kept him there on the ground until we got there." (The Daily Facts, Redlands, CA, 3/11/96)

616. The teenage hoodlum began his attack on Madera, California, shopkeeper Moon Yang by spraying him in the face with a chemical spray, and then kneed him in the stomach. The assailant then turned to Yang's wife, Soon, spraying her in the face as well. Fearing for his wife, Yang grabbed a .38 and unleashed four of the five rounds in his revolver. The suspect was found dead outside the store and two accomplices were arrested. (The Bee, Fresno, CA, 3/29/96)

617. An Antelope Valley, California, judge was forced to dispense a different type of justice after a parolee chose his house as the site of his next burglary. Municipal Court Judge William Seelicke had already warned the man to leave after spotting him in his yard, but the man chose to attempt entering Seelicke's home anyway. A few shots from the judge 's .38 changed his mind though, and the man fled. Police arrested the housebreaker a short time later. "Any normal bad guy would have heard the warnings, but this guy just kept coming," said a Sheriff's Department detective. (The Daily News, Lancaster, CA, 3/2/96)

August, 1996

618. When the madman heard 76-year-old Elmer Virgil Fry yell for him to stop smashing a window on Fry's truck with a machete, the brute charged the Fresno, California, resident's home and smashed a window trying to enter. Fry grabbed a .38 revolver and fired two shots, wounding the suspect and forcing him to flee. Police later captured the criminal. (The Bee, Fresno, CA, 3/11/96)

619. At the sound of somebody breaking into her home, a "petite" Ausable Township, Michigan, woman jumped from her bathtub, wrapped herself in a towel, and grabbed a Winchester .30-30 rifle. Jeanie Shell soon came face to face with a 220-lb. 6-ft. 2" intruder who she recognized as a neighbor, while a second suspect fled. Shell ordered the housebreaker to leave and called police, who later arrested both suspects and discovered they were responsible for another nearby burglary earlier that morning. (The News Herald and Press, Mikado, MI, 3/20/96)

620. Lee Fleurcius and companion Ruby Montgomery had been in Fleurcius' Orange County, Florida, home for just a few moments when a burglar, who had been surprised by the returning pair, leapt from a bedroom closet and began shooting. Though both Fleurcius and Montgomery were wounded by their assailant's shots, the homeowner was able to retrieve a gun and return deadly fire. (The Sentinel, Orlando, FL, 3/1 1/96)

621. "I'm an old man; I have to take care of myself," Gary, Indiana, resident Miller Doty said. Doty keeps his .357 a little closer at hand now after a pair of teenaged homebreakers attacked him in his home. One of the thugs had pinned the 72-year-old Doty to the floor and was trying to choke him when the homeowner's 54-year-old daughter, alarmed by the commotion, came upstairs with her .22 in hand. Doty's daughter fatally shot one suspect and sent the other diving out a window with a volley of shots. (The Times, Lake County, IN, 4/1/96)

622. "Hang up the phone, I'm going to shoot you." Milford, Connecticut, pawn store owner Rocco Candella looked up and saw a robber pointing a gun at him. Candella laid the cordless phone on the store counter and, in a flash, grabbed his .380 Walther PPK and fired three shots. The criminal found himself lying on the floor in his own blood before hecould harm Candella or any of the other three people in the store. (The Post, Milford, CT, 3/14/96)

623. Awakened by his wife who said there was an intruder in their home, a Lincoln, Nebraska, man grabbed his .380 and went to investigate, finding not one, but three intruders in their house. One was unplugging a computer, one disconnecting a stereo and the third had just entered the house from the garage with the family's car keys in hand, when the armed homeowner yelled at them. Frightened, the three men dropped everything and fled, escaping in a nearby vehicle. (The Journal, Lincoln, NE, 3/29/96)

624. A quartet of prison escapees made it out of Huttonsville Correctional Center near Mill Creek, West Virginia, all right, but their luck turned bad when their getaway driver, in a car loaded with beer and whiskey, was stopped by policeand arrested before she could meet them. The criminals decided to attempt a foot escape through mountains where, as one deputy put it, the residents have guns in their homes and know how to use them. When two emerged from the cold, rainy woods, they ran into armed citizen Vencil Hannah. Aware the convicts might be in the area, Hannah grabbed his .22 rifle when he heard his dog bark, and confronted the pair. Hannah's next door neighbor, a deputy, was quickly summoned to the scene to take the prisoners back into custody. (The Register- Herald, Beckley, WV,5/13/96)

625. Four knife-wielding men stole into Kuang Cheng's Lumberton, New Jersey, home, forcing his two young sons and their grandmother into the family room. As two of the intruders attempted to tape the elderly woman's mouth shut, the other two confronted Cheng and his wife in their bedroom. The homeowner,however, had heard his children screaming and had retrieved a .40 cal. pistol, the sight of which inspired one of the assailants to dive out of the second-floor window and the other to flee downstairs. Firing three times at the criminals, suspects in at least six similar incidents, Cheng single-handedly chased all of the men from his house. (The Times,Trenton, NJ, 3/22/96)

626. Great Falls, Montana, resident Earl Burrows returned home to find his driveway blocked by a vehicle. Burrows went into his home, retrieved a shotgun, and confronted the man, who was burglarizing his garage. The crook is suspected of breaking into more than 20 garages in the neighborhood that evening before running into Burrows. (The Tribune, Great Falls, MT, 3/18/96)

627. Darlene Loudon was sitting in a Des Moines, Iowa, dentist's office waiting room when a man approached her, drew an 8" knife from a bag, and told her he would not harm her if she gave him her purse. Despite the knife, she refused,and after a brief struggle, the man snatched the handbag away from her and began to leave. Loudon's husband, a carry permit holder, witnessed the commotion, unstrapped his .22, and followed the man outside, shooting him once in the side before the suspect ran off. (The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, IA, 4/20/96)

628. What's the price of nine dollars and a pizza in St. Louis, Missouri? It cost one criminal his life and sent another to a hospital after the pair tried to rob pizza deliveryman Tom Wilkins. Wilkins, who first struggled with his assailants at the beginning of the robbery, relented after one placed the barrel of a gun to the side of his face. As they fled with the pizza and cash, however, they turned around and fired at their victim, at which time he pulled out his own .357 Mag.and opened up. (The Post-Dispatch, St. Louis, MO, 4/30/96)

September, 1996

629. Richmond Watkins, believed to be Haywood County, Tennessee's, oldest man at 108 years old, may have appeared to be easy prey to a criminal 84 years his junior. At first, the younger crook attempted to trick Watkins into thinking he owed the man money for some firewood. When the ruse didn't work, the man grew violent, putting a butcher knife to Walkins' neck and threatening to kill him if he didn't hand over his money. Watkins reached for his pocket, but instead of a wallet, pulled out a .32 and shot his attacker in the neck, seriously wounding him. (The States Graphic,Brownsville. TN, 6/13/96)

630. Left for dead in a 1994 robbery and shooting in which she was seriously wounded and her 21-year-old godson paralyzed, Richmond, Virginia, resident Dorothy Newton understood the cost she and her niece might be forced to pay. They had already handed the four robbers, one armed with a pistol, all of their valuables and still the crook swanted more. With nothing else to give, Newton pulled a .38 from the bottom of her purse and began firing, wounding two of the suspects and chasing all of them away. The four attackers were all taken into custody. Later newspaper accounts noted that a grand jury refused to indict the woman, even though she did not have a carry permit for therevolver, which she had borrowed from a friend. (The Times Dispatch, Richmond, VA, 6/1/96)

631. Pulling up to his bank's ATM, Alan Carlson thought he was safely away from the traffic dispute in which he had been engaged just moments earlier. Suddenly, the three men pulled up, blocking Carlson's vehicle in its parking spot and jumping from their car. The Etters, Pennsylvania, resident warned the men to leave him alone and that he was armed, but still they approached. Even two warning shots into the ground failed to slow the advance of his would be-attackers, forcing Carlson to finally shoot one of them. Police refused to charge the armed citizen with any wrongdoing after reviewing video tape from a bank surveillance camera that revealed Carlson had done everything possible to avoid the confrontation. (The Daily Record, York, PA, 4/25/96)

632. "I think he was as scared of me as I was of him," said 84- year-old Williamsport, Pennsylvania, resident Harold Toler after confronting a burglar in his home. Toler and his wife were awakened by a commotion on their first floor. Toler grabbed his gun and went to investigate as his wife called police. Upon seeing the armed homeowner, the housebreaker begged him not to shoot, then quickly ran from the house. Police arrested the suspect within the hour.(The Sun Gazette, Williamsport, PA, 3/21/96)

633. Kun Sop Chun had just locked the door to his Charlotte, North Carolina, store when the two young bandits, armed with a rifle, ordered him to open the store so they could rob him. Chun feared for his life and, when the two looked away for a moment, he drew his own gun and began quickly firing, killing one assailant and wounding the other. (The Observer, Charlotte, NC, 5/10/96)

634. After spotting a strange truck in the driveway of her Bell County, Kentucky, home, Darlene Craig stopped and confronted the two men she found in the process of stealing her television, VCR and other items. Craig used her.357 to even the playing field and forced both men to sit on the couch while she dialed 911. When one of the crooks pushed down the phone's receiver and said he didn't think the woman would shoot, Craig dared them to "give [her] areason." The two opted to wait for police. (The Enquirer, Pineville, KY, 4/4/96)

635. Wheelchair-bound jeweler Scott Moline was alone in his West Allis, Wisconsin, store when two customers-turned-bandits charged behind the counter. As one of the attackers drew a gun, Moline instinctively pulled his own .38 and loosed three shots. Though he missed the suspects, the pair were so frightened by Moline's defense that they fled the store, leaving behind their own gun and their stolen get-away car parked out front. Police arrested the two shortly after the incident. (The Star, West Allis, Wl, 5/23/96)

636. The man stood on Clyde Thomas' Carroll County, Georgia, porch explaining that his truck had broken down and that he needed to phone somebody for help. When Thomas handed the stranded motorist a cordless phone and phonebook, the man yanked him outside and began beating him. Meanwhile, an accomplice slid from the shadows and entered the home, only to encounter Thomas' wife, Joyce, who opened fire with a .38. The housebreaker fired a single shot, wounding Joyce Thomas in the leg, before the man and his accomplice fled the property. (Times-Georgia CarrollCounty, GA, 6/19/96)

637. The bandit had been attempting take money from the cash register of the Anchorage, Alaska, liquor store, when store owner Billy Williams, Jr., yelled at him from the back office. The crook then leveled a gun at Williams, threatening to kill him as the merchant tried to flee through the back door. Realizing the door was locked, Williams grabbed his .357 and, after the robber followed him to the back of the store and threatened kill him yet again, shot the suspect. The wounded robber fled with an accomplice and the pair were soon arrested. (Tht Daily News, Anchorage, AK, 5/11/96)

638. Things did not go as planned for bandanna-masked bandit when he brazenly strode into a Hoover, Alabama gas station flashing a nickel- plated pistol and demanding money. The cashier tossed some bills from the register on the floor and when the crook stooped retrieve them, the clerk grabbed a pistol from beneath the counter and shot him dead. The slain suspect had been arrested earlier that year for another robbery and was out on bail at the time of death awaiting trial for the capital murder of a two-year-old girl. (The News, Birmingham, AL, 5/29/96)

October, 1996

639. Like a scene from a movie, the three masked robbers burst through the doors of a Potts Camp, Mississippi, bank, shooting and screaming orders while a fourth accomplice waited outside in a getaway car. Plans quickly unraveled for the violent quartet, however, after their ringleader strode into the bank manager's office and took a shot from the Colt .357 in manager Rodney Whaley's hand. Wounded, he scurried to the car where he and the driver fled, leaving their partners behind. The other two dashed into the woods on foot in an effort to escape. State and local police were quick to the scene and with the aid of local citizens armed with their own rifles, shotguns and scanners, secured every escape route in the county. All four suspects were arrested as a result. (The South Reporter, Holly Springs, MS, 5/16/96)

640. With her husband and son away at church, Brenda Hibbitts was alone in her London, Kentucky, home when three men broke in through her front door. At the commotion, Hibbitts grabbed a 9 mm and confronted the housebreakers, one of whom charged the woman with a hammer. Hibbitts fired, wounding the brute and forcing all of the intruders from the premises. Four suspects were arrested in the incident. (The Herald- Leader, Lexington, KY, 6/17/96)

641. A Kansas City, Missouri, homeowner was caught off guard when a man inquiring about a house for sale next door pulled a gun on him and forced his way inside. The intruder ordered the homeowner into a bedroom where the two began struggling over the gun. During the fight, the resident reached his own gun and fired a fatal shot at his attacker. His wife and children, who were home during the incident, were not injured. (The Star, Kansas City, MO, 6/13/96)

642. A Manchester, New Hampshire, landlord, tired of break-ins at an apartment building she owned, single-handedly confronted three trespassers who had illegally entered an empty apartment, chasing them away from the property at gunpoint. The woman didn't have to fire a shot, since the men took off at the sight of her firearm. One of the trespassers was arrested by police after leading the landlord and a tenant on a brief foot chase. (The Citizen, Laconia, NH, 5/25/96)

643. Despite the presence of her parents and a sheriff's deputy, a 15-year- old Cookeville, Tennessee, teenager was still forced to defend herself from an abusive ax-boyfriend. Confronted by the deputy and the girl's parents outside of the family's residence, the young man broke free from the deputy, jumped a fence, and kicked in the door of the house where the girl was hiding. There the ex-boyfriend came at the girl to attack her as she held the phone -- with a 911 operator on the line -- in one hand and a Ruger .44 Magnum in the other. A single fatal shot ended the attack. (The Herald-Citizen, Cookeville, TN, 6113196)

644. Pastor Frank McClung of First Southern Baptist Church in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, shudders at the thought of what might have happened had a shotgun-wielding bandit been allowed to make his way into the church during choir practice. Thanks to an armed citizen, he never got that far. Police said the suspect approached one of two parishioners waiting outside the church for their wives and demanded they come with him. The men refused, one going for his car, the other for the church. After the assailant fired into the one man's car, the parishioner retrieved his own gun and returned two fatal shots. "I'm very glad that the church member defended himself and his fellow church members, but I'm sorry that the man with the shotgun died," McClung said. (The Times Daily, Florence, AL, 7119196)

645. The masked thugs were spotted as Decatur, Alabama, resident Jason Rayford was leaving his home. As soon as he saw the two, Rayford ran back in his home and locked the front door, but the men kicked it in anyway, and started shooting. Rayford, who has a concealed-carry permit, drew his .38 and returned fire, wounding one of the suspects and forcing both of them to flee. The pair were later captured by police. (The Decatur Daily, Decatur, AL, 7/10/96)

646. University of Bridgeport (Connecticut) professor Hans van der Giessen was asleep in his home when the sound of somebody kicking in his front door awakened him. Grabbing his .25 cal. semi-auto handgun, van der Giessen went downstairs where he encountered a burglar. The criminal charged the political science professor, who emptied his seven-shot pistol at the intruder. Hit in the chest by half-a-dozen rounds, the crook staggered outside where he collapsed on the sidewalk and died. It was the second time in three days van der Giessen's home had been broken into, and the suspect was found to have a record of more than a dozen convictions in the last 18 years. Police were still investigating whether the two incidents were related. University associates of van der Giessen's expressed surprise that a fellow "liberal" professor would own a gun, but all supported his actions to defend himself. (The Connecticut Post, Bridgeport, CT, 7/10/96)

647. A career criminal may have been released from Florida prisons three different times for good behavior, but once on the outside, his actions were less than upstanding. It was probably just another day on the job for the "seasoned burglar" when he donned a mask and gloves before lifting the sliding glass door from: its tracks on Sammie Foust's Cape Coral, Florida, home. In his hand he carried a knife. Confronting Foust, the crook demanded money and jewelry before beating the 49-year-old woman in the face. During the struggle, Foust managed to get her hands on her .25 cal. pistol and unleash four shots, all of which found their mark. Police found the crook dead in Foust's bedroom. (The News Press, Fort Myers, FL, 5/11/96)

November/December, 1996

648. Sonya Godwin notified police that a group of people had been repeatedly calling her Florence, South Carolina, home making death threats against her son. She then placed her Taurus .357 Mag. revolver on a counter in case somebody decided to carry out those threats. Two hours later, a group of seven people gathered on Godwin's lawn with one of them knocking on the font door demanding to see her son. Godwin opened the door, informed the man that her son was asleep and then closed and locked the door. The man then kicked the door in and received a fatal shot from Godwin's .357. Police refused to charge the woman. (The Morning News, Florence, SC, 7/31/96)

649. An elderly Detroit, Michigan, couple were easy pickings for the knife- toting bandit the first time he broke into their home, stealing $100. A month later, he tried it again, but this time the 72-year-old husband was ready. Awakened by his wife who heard somebody entering their house, the man grabbed a Luger he had acquired when serving overseas during World War II. When the suspect confronted the homeowner, the elderly gentleman shot him once in the head, killing him. No charges were filed in the case. Of the matter, Lon Cripps, police chief of another Michigan city said, "There comes a time when you have to take responsibility for your own life. Police officers just aren't always going to be there." (The Detroit News, Detroit, MI, 6/14/96)

650. A friend alerted Albert Boeving that he had spotted a suspicious trio of men removing items from the site of his business in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Boeving, an NRA Benefactor Member and firearms instructor, carried a shotgun with him when he went to investigate. Finding the men already gone from his property, Boeving headed to a salvage yard on his friend's hunch and there caught the three men red-handed. Only one of the men, an ex-convict, was charged in the crime as he had lied to his accomplices by telling them he had permission to take the goods. Questioning revealed that the men had taken the, items from the poperty earlier in the week of which Boeing had been unaware. (The Daily American Republic, Poplar Bluff, MO, 4/30/96)

651. W.H. Lindenburg ad his wife Esther had just tumed from a stroll on their large wooded lot in rural Dorchester County, South Crolina, when they discovered two men loading valuables from their home into a car. An altercation ensued and one of the suspects pulled a gun. Lindenburg, who carries a pistol with him on his walks, drew his own gun and fired first, killing one suspect and injuring the other. Both suspects were found to have extensive criminal records. The surviving assailant, whose criminal history dated back to 1969, was charged not only with buglary and larceny in the Lindenburg incident but also for the murder of another South Carolina man during another burglary just a month before. (The Post and Courier, Charleston, SC, 4/26/96)

652. A small band of Fort Wayne, Indiana, homebreakers finally learned the hazards of their activity when they came face to face with an armed citizen whose house they were attempting to enter illegally. As one resident called 911, the other, gun in hand, moved to stop the crime. After several shots, one criminal lay dead in an alley while the others ran fom the scene. It was the second time in less than a month and the fifth time in 17 months a Fort Wayne citizen had used a fiream to defend himself, killing his attacker. (The News Sentinel, Fort Wayne, IN, 5/10/96)

653. With his identity concealed by the dark ski-mask he wore, a Little Rock, Arkansas, teen-ager forced his way into Derrick Norris' car using a shotgun and demanded money. The carjacker then proceeded to drive away with Norris still in the vehicle, giving the car's owner a chance to grab a .25 cal. handgun he kept under the seat and fatally shoot the bandit in the head. No charges were filed against Norris. (Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock, AR, 8/3/96)

654. Pat Stimpert saw the shadowy figure, going from car to car and house to house, checking for unlocked doors in his rural Marshall, Minnesota, neighborhood. Stimpert's wife usually left their door unlocked, so the home owner, whose wife and daughter were already staying in a new house the family had purchased, figured the characters would come strolling in any minute. He was right. But by the time the two intruders made their entrance, Stimpet had armed himself with his 12-ga. and dialed 911. The sight of the armed homeowner was enough to send both suspects scurrying for the cover of a nearby cornfield. (The Indpendent, Marshall, MN, 8/20/96)

655. Tulsa, Oklahoma, police Sgt. Greg Kragel said it was a case of "plain and simple self-defense." Burglars had targeted David Mitchell's Tulsa, Oklahoma, home three times before, gaining entry once and giving up twice. A pair of thieves were attempting to take another go at it, when Mitchell, who hadn't been home during the other incidents, heard somebody attempting to climb into a bedroom window. Mitchell retrieved his 20-ga., shooting the first intruder to enter his home. The suspects fired a round or two at Mitchell as they fled, but were later arrested by police, who found one still in the neighborhood and the other in the hospital. (The World, Tulsa, OK 7/30/96)

656. Thomas Hall was taking out the trash at Tom's Liquors in Odenton, Mayland, when an armed robber approached with a gun in hand. Approached from behind, Hall drew his own handgun and spun around, pointing the pistol at the suspect, who then ran away. Nothing was taken and no one was injured in the incident. (The Capital, Annapolis, MD, 8/7/96)

January, 1997

657. Three would-be burglars hot-wired Al Novak's conversion van and then used it as a vehicular battering ram to crash through the front of his Minneapolis, Minnesota, gun shop. Novak, who has lived in a small apartment in the shop for the past 16 years, was awakened by the commotion and confronted the unwelcome guests with his 9 mm. "They took one look at me and went back out the same way they came in," said Novak. It was the fourth time his shop had been burglarized since 1980. (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, 7/12/96)

658. Clyde Bratcher had just opened the rural Clarkson, Kentucky, bank branch he managed when a man opened the front door and pointed a rifle at him. Bratcher drew a .45 cal. handgun from beneath the counter and shot the apparent robber, who staggered outside and collapsed. Not realizing the suspect would expire before fleeing, Bratcher followed him outside and shot the tires out on his car. (The Messenger- Inquirer, Owensboro, KY, 8/9/96)

659. Under the apparent influence of drugs, a knife-wielding man harassed and threatened a group of campers before making his way to a Calaveras County, California, couple's home. There, the brute tore through a screen door, punched a hole in a French door's glass window and strode into the dwelling. The husband grabbed a handgun, but after confronting the intruder, offered to summon help for the man who had grown hysterical shouting, "They're out to get me!" Instead the man insisted the homeowner shoot him. When he refused, the angered intruder pulled out his knife and approached the husband, who was finally forced to oblige the maniac's demands with a fatal shot to the chest. (The Bee, Modesto, CA, 7/31/96)

660. An 18-year-old woman was retrieving cash from a Reno, Nevada, automatic teller machine when two robbers pushed her against the machine and demanded she withdraw all of her money. Suddenly, the sound of a round being chambered in a semi-automatic pistol was heard from behind as a voice yelled, "Leave her alone." The two assailants bolted. The mystery rescuer then asked the woman if she was okay and advised her to go home before disappearing himself. (The Gazette, Reno, NV, 8/9/96)

661. A judge's restraining order -- signed after Donna Montoya was attacked and threatened with murder twice in seven weeks by her ex-boyfriend -- did little to keep her violent former partner from coming around her parents' Albuquerque, New Mexico, house in search of her. Though she wasn't at the residence at the time, the one-time boyfriend repeatedly circled the house, kicking at a door, throwing a large rock through a window, and shouting, "It doesn't matter. I'm coming in, anyway." When he tried, Montoya's father, Juan, met the man with a rifle, mortally wounding him with a single shot. Police believe the man was also carrying a large knife at the time of the incident. (The Journal, Albuquerque, NM, 7/23/96)

662. A teenage crook got quite a surprise after he entered 68-year-old Ruth Haskin's home through a kitchen window and stole into her bedroom. The Upper Deerfield Township, New Jersey, woman kept a .22 cal. handgun within arm's reach whenever she slept. Upon awaking to find the youth in her bedroom, she reached for the gun and shot him in the chest as he came at her, wounding him. (The Press, Atlantic City, NJ, 8/25/96)

663. One of Phil Carter's Tallahassee, Florida, neighbors was describing the car she had seen in his driveway earlier in the day when his home was burglarized when she pointed to his house and said, "As a matter of fact, there it is in your driveway." Sure enough, the suspects had returned. Carter jumped in his truck and attempted to block the green Ford Mustang. He then jumped halfway though the escaping bandit's vehicle, one hand on the steering wheel and the other around the driver's neck, when he spied his stolen hunting rifle laying in the back seat. He quickly grabbed the .270, slid from the car, and took aim at the vehicle, shooting out three of the four tires. The car crashed into a tree with the passenger spilling out the door in surrender. The driver pushed on and managed to escape on his vehicle's rims, but Carter held the accomplice for police. Police were still searching for the second suspect. (The Democrat, Tallahassee, FL, 8/11/96)

664. A Rochester, New York, homeowner grabbed his shotgun after witnessing a gang of men armed with guns and clad in dark hooded sweatshirts and pants storm a neighboring duplex. After hitting the man's neighbors, the roving band of marauders descended upon the armed citizen, who was determined to protect himself and his children. As the, assailants forced their way into his home, the man opened fire, trading shots with as many as seven suspects. The man was able to successfully fend off the attack, killing two of the intruders and wounding a third. Police were still looking for the other suspects. Police were searching for links between this attack and similar home invasions earlier in the summer that had left two citizens dead. The man's neighbors were considering following his lead and arming themselves for protection. (The Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, NY, 8/27/97)

665. In what was deemed a "rare" attack by a rabid Eastern coyote, an Albany, New York, woman required stitches to her head, back and legs after being repeatedly bitten by the creature while working in her garden. Hearing her screams, neighbor Giles Bullock shouted at the animal, hoping to scare it away. When that failed, he retrieved his 12-ga. shotgun and killed the animal with a single blast. "It was a good thing (Bullock) was here to help her," the thankful woman's husband said. (The Times Union, Albany, NY, 8/24/96)

February, 1997

666. Daniel Shelton's Martinsville, Virginia, neighbors regard him as a hero after he confronted a man who broke into his home by shining a flashlight at him and holding a cocked .45 Government Model to his head. "Get on your knees or I'll blow your head off.," he said. Shelton then contacted police who took the man into custody. Police applauded the homeowner for his restraint in not shooting the intruder. Shelton admitted though he was angry and fearful at the time, he too was glad no shots were required. Many of Shelton's neighbors, who reported being burglarized on numerous occasions, doubted they would have been so understanding. (The Bulletin, Martinsville, VA, 8/15/96)

667. The gun shoved in night manager Eric Golden's face during a robbery two weeks before at the Nashville, Tennessee, restaurant where he worked was enough to prompt him to start carrying his own firearm. Ten days later, evidently emboldened by the easy pickings, the same two bandits returned to hold Golden up again. This time, Golden foiled the robbery by wounding one of the suspects with a gunshot. Both thugs were arrested by police and charged in the two incidents. (The Banner, Nashville, TN, 9/2/96)

668. District Attorney Robert Schwarz refused to charge an Albuquerque, New Mexico, Dunkin' Donuts employee with any wrongdoing after the armed store clerk killed one of two would-be robbers. The two suspects had entered the store posing as customers. When the clerk turned to get their donuts they drew guns and demanded cash. The clerk refused. One bandit fired a single shot at the clerk, barely missing his head, and the other bandit jumped over the counter and attempted to shoot the employee, but his gun jammed. By then, the clerk had retrieved his own handgun and returned fire, fatally injuring the suspect who had jumped the counter. The dead crook's accomplice fled the building. (The Journal, Albuquerque, NM, 9/6/96)

669. Harold Whitley sat watching television with his daughter and granddaughter in his Forestville, Pennsylvania, apartment when a man barged in holding a pistol and demanding money. As the man searched the apartment for cash, Whitley was able to retrieve his .22 cal. Remington rifle. A confrontation ensued and Whitley mortally wounded the suspect with several shots. The suspect had a criminal record dating back to 1979 and had cases pending against him for burglary and criminal trespass when he died. (The Republican & Evening Herald, Pottsvsville, PA, 8/26/96)

670. A 45-year-old Gwinnett County, Georgia, woman carried her gun into the kitchen to investigate a noise. There she discovered her yardman, who had threatened her earlier in the day had just broken into her home. She ordered the man to leave, but he replied she would have to shoot him first. She did. The man was hospitalized and police did not expect any charges to be filed against the woman. (The Journal-Constitution, Atlanta, GA, 9/8/96)

671. The bandit brazenly barged into the Rochester, New York, market, shoving a gun into the face of the owner's wife, who was working behind the counter, and demanding cash. The owner witnessed the confrontation and quickly pulled his own handgun out, shooting the armed robber. Hit in the arm, the suspect ran outside to a waiting car and went to a nearby hospital where he was arrested, Neighbors said the store had been held up several times in the past two years. (The Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, NY, 8/29/96)

672. The two masked men stood over a sleeping Wayne Arbus after breaking into his Scotch Plains, New Jersey, home and shot him in the head when he awoke. Leaving him for dead, the two then rummaged through his house stealing a VCR, his wallet, credit cards money, a BB gun and the keys to his car, which they decided to take as well. The severely wounded Arbus was conscious all the while however, playing possum until he heard his attackers leave. He then retrieved his .357 Mag. and ran outside, shooting at the men as they escaped, hitting his own car in the process. The two were soon arrested in another stolen car after Arbus alerted police. (The Star-Ledger, Newark, NJ, 9/14/96)

673. Two fares sat in the back of a Suffolk, Virginia, taxi cab, when one of the men pulled a revolver on the driver, James E. Ridley. Ridley responded by pulling a .38 he carried and shooting the armed man. His accomplice jumped from the cab and fled. Ridley then drove the injured suspect to the hospital for treatment. (The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk, 10/3/96)

674. Lawrence Nelson immediately recognized the man who walked into a San Jose, California, liquor store as the same man who had robbed the business of $3,000 three weeks before. In his hand was the same handgun and he even said the same words, "Put all your cash on the counter." But unlike three ,weeks before, Nelson had his own gun -- a 9 mm Glock that held 17 rounds -- sitting on his counter instead of in a drawer. A single shot from Nelson struck the robber, who dropped his gun and a quick retreat. Police arrested the injured crook nearby. (The Mercury News, San Jose, CA, 9/26/96)

675. Eighty-eight-year-old Wilbur Bolen couldn't return to sleep after a burglar broke into his Phoenix, Arizona, home and made off with two of his VCRs. He was afraid that the intruder would return -- and he was right. About three hours after the first break-in, Bolen heard somebody trying to enter his front door. As the invader pushed the door open, Bolen fired a shot for the first time in 20 years. Hit, the suspect let out a yell and disappeared into the night. Police were still searching for the wounded housebreaker. (The Republic, Phoenix, AZ, 10/6/96)

March, 1997

676. The drunken man asked the clerk in an Anchorage, Alaska, gas station to call him a cab, then in a fit of agitation at being asked to wait for it outside, pulled a gun and attempted to rob the place. Alerted by the clerk, two mechanics, one of them armed with a gun he keeps in his tool box, followed the man outside where the three became mired in a standoff. Upon arriving on the scene, the cab driver discovered what was happening, drew his own gun and shoved it into the robber's neck. The armed mechanic and cabbie then forced the suspect to the ground where he was held for police. (The Daily News, Anchorage, AK, 10/26/96)

677. Without warning, the man walked into the Boomtown Grocery in Haughton, Louisiana, and pointed a gun at the owner and her sister. He told the two women if they refused to give him all of the store's money, he would kill them. Undaunted, the shopkeeper produced a .357 Mag. and unleashed at least five shots. Hit, the assailant returned fire as he crawled from tile store. The owner was grazed by a bullet, but her attacker suffered much worse. He had nothing to show for his criminal efforts but a critical bullet wound to his shoulder and a list of charges -- including two counts of attempted murder -- from police who quickly arrested the man and his accomplice. (The Times, Shreveport, LA, 9/30196)

678. Bandits accosted Greenville, South Carolina, store owner Gene Stephens outside his home and ordered him back inside where they forced Stephens and his wife to lay face-down on the kitchen floor. As one robber searched the house, the other two stood over the tearful couple pointing a gun at them. When one of the suspects turned the lights out, Stephens glanced up and noticed the gun-wielding crook had been distracted. He pulled his gun from his waistband and fired a "literal shot in the dark." The suspects fled, one of them eventually turning up in a hospital, where he died. The dead man's brother was later arrested as an accomplice. Police believe the group may be linked to the ambush murder of another city businessman three weeks earlier. (The News, Greenville, SC, 9/11/96)

679. Jose Garza was going to retrieve some ice cream from his Sylrnar, California, garage at the request of his wife when he noticed his three dogs barking. As a precaution, he took along his .45 cal. pistol. Upon entering the garage, a disguised woman -- who police later speculated had probably never fired a gun before -- loosed three shots, missing the veteran city prosecutor each time. Garza returned fire, killing his attacker. He later learned that the dead suspect was his wife's sister, who, it turned out, had conspired with his wife, a lawyer, to kill him in order to "become financially free." (The Times, Los Angeles, CA, 10/3/96)

680. Gunshots erupted in the evening tranquillity of the Colorado Springs, Colorado, neighborhood after an argument over a football debt turned violent, leaving two men wounded. From opposite ends of the street, two armed homeowners, insurance salesman Vaughn Zimmerman and cable company manager Tony McIntosh, ran from their homes and simultaneously confronted the shooting suspect, ordering him to the ground. There they handcuffed him and held him for police officers. McIntosh, a carry permit holder, and Zimmerman, a former sheriff's deputy, had never met until the incident. "I think we should go for coffee sometime and talk," Zimmerman told McIntosh afterward. (The Gazette Telegraph, Colorado Springs, CO, 10/2/96)

681. Demanding money, the attacker chased Rosemary Campi inside her Indianapolis, Indiana, home where he confronted her husband, dentist James Campi. A fight ensued in which the suspect broke a table leg free and began beating James Campi. Despite assistance from a neighbor, the struggle continued, during which Campi's wife was able to get him the gun he finally used to fatally shoot the invader. (The Sunday Star, Indianapolis, IN, 9/29/96)

682. When a would-be robber grabbed a customer in an Asheville, North Carolina, store and threatened to kill her if employees did not turn over the money in the register, clerks Joey Allen and Larry Simonds reacted instinctively. In one motion, they both drew handguns and ordered the assailant to release the woman and lay on the floor. Surprised at the turn of events, the suspect did just that. (The Citizen-Times, Asheville. NC. 12/14/96)

683. As social unrest spilled across St. Petersburg, Florida, making headlines throughout the nation, criminals rampaged through the community looting businesses and burning them to the ground. While most store owners were left to sit helplessly, waiting on the overburdened police and fire departments to come to their rescue, pawn shop owner Oscar Kiesylis, "a staunch NRA member," stood ready. "I could have waited until the *******s came in the store and got them one by one," Kiesylis later said of the looters who crashed their car through his store window. Instead he opened fire with his semi-automatic AK-47 rifle as soon as the vehicle entered the building, sending the intruders on a hasty -- and empty-handed -- retreat. "They came very close to being with the Lord ," said Kiesylis. (The Times, St. Petersburg, FL, 10/26/96)

684. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, city councilman Richard Mariano was winding up his midnight town watch shift when he noticed a strange man walking in his neighborhood. When next he spied the man sitting behind the steering wheel of a neighbor's van, he confronted the would-be car thief. Mariano used a few Tae Kwon Do moves to subdue the angered suspect and then held him with his .380 Smith & Wesson as a fellow town watch neighbor called police. The newspaper article said Mariano is "one of three city councilmen who are licensed to carry arms. You know, the sort of fellas you don't want to mess with, especially on a dark street in the middle of the night." (The Daily News, Philadelphia, PA, 12/16/96)

April, 1997

685. Marty and Angelique Hite were standing in the parking lot of the Raleigh, North Carolina, Pizza Hut where Angelique is a manager when they noticed a man wearing a mask, gloves, dark clothes and holding a pistol approaching from the darkness. The Hites hurried back into the restaurant and attempted to close and lock the door, but were hampered when the robber shoved the barrel of his gun into the opening. He threatened to kill them, at which time, Marty, a concealed-carry permit holder, pulled his .38 from a hip pocket and shot the assailant. The wounded man fled to some nearby woods where he was discovered by police an hour later. Police declined to charge Marty Hite, citing his right to defend himself. Many in the community also applauded Hite's actions. (The Observer, Raleigh, NC, 12/12/96)

686. "It's as justifiable a shooting as I've seen," said Lathrup Village, Michigan, Police Chief Robert Jones, concerning a pizzeria manager who shot one of two would-be bandits. The two masked robbers stormed into the restaurant, accosted the manager and began pistol-whipping him. During the scuffle, the manager was able to pull the handgun he carried and fire three shots, two of them fatally striking one of his attackers. The other suspect disappeared unscathed into the night. The dead suspect had a criminal record, and police suspect the pair may have been responsible for other robberies in the area. (The Daily Tribune, Oakland County, MI, 1/14/97)

687. A New Paltz, New York, delivery driver entered an apartment building to deliver a pizza when he was grabbed by the two masked thugs who had placed the order. A scuffle broke out, and the driver was able to get a hold of the gun he was carrying. He fired several shots at his ski-mask-clad assailants as they hastened off into the night. It was unknown whether either man was hit.(The Times Herald Record, Middletown, NY 1/25/97)

688. The robber yelled for everyone to "hit the floor" in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, tavern and began firing. A few shots hit the ceiling and one struck bartender Natalie Biggs in the hip. When his gun jammed, a wounded Biggs grabbed a .38. Several of her shots found her attacker who staggered from the building. He was found dead nearby slumped behind the wheel of his car. Police said the dead man had a history of arrests involving offenses that included rape and aggravated assault. (The Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA, 1/23/97)

689. Two men wearing ski masks and holding revolvers burst through the door of Stoneys package store in Tampa, Florida, and shoved their guns into owner John Swetland's face. They threatened to kill him if he didn't give them enough money. Swetland begged for his life and the suspects temporarily offered him a reprieve, deciding to leave the store. One of the bandits accidentally ran into another room and upon backtracking, fired two shots at Swetland. By then, the owner had been able to retrieve his own semi-automatic handgun and returned fire, wounding his tormentor. The injured man later turned himself in to police, who continued to search for his accomplice. (The Times, Tampa, FL, 1/8/97)

690. Jaime Espinosa was working in the rear of the El Monte, California, hamburger stand he owned when he heard his wife, working as a clerk, scream. He ran to the front to find his wife bleeding from her hand, and a man holding a knife and wanting cash. Espinosa gave him $107 then followed the knife-wielding thug outside. There, he pulled a gun and confronted the man, firing three shots into the ground. The man promptly handed the money back to Espinosa then ran off. Police were still searching for the crook. (The Valley Tribune, San Gabriel, CA, 1/1/97)

691. When the two men entered the Hampton, Virginia, lounge -- one wearing a mask and grasping a pistol -- the manager quickly grabbed his 9mm and confronted the masked intruder. A scuffle ensued in which the manager shot the robber, critically wounding him. The accomplice ran from the bar but was quickly arrested by police. A dancer who worked at the bar and was present during the holdup was charged with helping plan the robbery. (The Daily Press, Hampton, VA, 12/21/96)

692. One robber stood in the background, a blue handkerchief over his face. The other crowded the counter, pointing his pistol in El Bandito Taco Shell owner Leo Nuńez's face. The Albuquerque, New Mexico, restaurant owner knew it was him or the crook. "It was real fast. It was my life or his," Nuńez said. He took his chances. Pulling a .380 from the register, he shot his assailant twice. The suspect returned two errant shots then ran from the business. Terrified, the other would-be bandit froze at Nuńez's command and waited for police to arrest him. The injured suspect was later apprehended at his house after a lengthy standoff with the city SWAT team. (The Journal, Albuquerque, NM, 12/3/96)

693. Francisco Castellano was hit, shot in the chest by a pair of thugs who had demanded he give them money outside of his Miami, Florida, restaurant. With few alternatives, Castellano pulled his own handgun and fired back, sending his empty-handed attackers scurrying. Police soon discovered the getaway car and gave chase. The criminals ran away from the vehicle but were soon discovered hiding in the closet of a home. (The Herald, Miami, FL, 8/3/96)

694. Canadian Football League player Roosevelt Patterson was visiting relatives in Mobile, Alabama, for the Christmas holidays when he was approached by three men, two of them armed, outside of a barbecue restaurant. Asked for cash, Patterson refused and instead, pulled a gun and killed one of the armed crooks. The remaining two were arrested by police. (The Times Daily, Florence, AL, 12/27/96)

May, 1997

695. Pine Bluff, Arkansas, pizzeria assistant manager Ailene Jones was enjoying a meal when two young men entered the restaurant where she worked and attempted to force another employee to open the cash register. When their efforts failed, one of the bandits approached Jones, who was armed. The suspect started shooting at Jones, who shot back. The criminals fled the building. While police were interviewing Jones, who had been struck in the foot, in the hospital, a young man fitting one of the suspects' descriptions showed up with a gunshot wound to the chest. He was promptly arrested. Police were still searching for his accomplice. (The Democrat Gazette, Pine Bluff, AR, 12/l1/96)

696. It was five against one at a Kansas City, Kansas, snack shop, but the armed citizen emerged unscathed. One of the would-be thieves was not so lucky. It all happened when five men, some of them armed, entered Columbus Park Sundries and attempted to take money from the cash register. The clerk grabbed his own gun and shot at the suspects, who promptly vacated the premises. A short while later, a man who police believe to be one of the suspects appeared at a nearby hospital with a gunshot wound to his back. It was the second time in four years a Columbus Park employee had been forced to shoot a bandit. (The Star, Kansas City, KS, 10/25/96)

697. The burglar ransacked 81-year-old Alberta Nicles' Muskegon, Michigan, home before waking her up and ordering her around the house to search for money. Ending up back in her bedroom, the intruder -- a suspected crack addict with a long history of criminal activity -- removed the widow's pajama bottoms and was preparing to rape her when she informed him that she knew where there was some money. Her assailant let her up and followed her to a closet where the woman instead retrieved her late husband's .38. She turned and shot her tormentor to death. Nicles then went to a neighbor's home to call police because her own lines had been severed by the intruder prior to his breaking in. "This was not just a random breaking and entering. He was planning on taking advantage of the vulnerability of an elderly person. She was clearly acting in self-defense, " Muskegon County Prosecutor Tony Tague said. (The Chronicle, Muskegon, MI, 1/2/97)

698. Tampa, Florida, pizza delivery driver Clifford S. Jordan reached into his glove box when two thugs ambushed him in an attempt to rob him. Out came his .380, and Jordan fired at both assailants, killing one and wounding the other. Police declined to file charges against the driver, but his employer, Domino's Pizza, suspended him with pay while they waited to review the police report. Jordan's actions were contrary to company policy. Domino's trains their employees to comply with a robber's demands. (The News Herald, Panama City, FL, 12/2 l /96)

699. A Los Angeles, California, Domino's Pizza delivery driver was walking back to his Isuzu Trooper after delivering three pizzas to a home in a crime-ridden neighborhood when he was approached by a knife-wielding robber. Asked for cash, the driver replied he didn't have any and was subsequently stabbed in the chest. A struggle ensued and the driver -- a concealed-carry permit holder -- drew a pistol from his waistband and fatally shot his attacker. "The guy's pretty lucky he's in here talking to us," said LAPD Det. Chuck Merritt. Domino's had no comment on the matter. (The Times, Los Angeles, CA, 1/27/97)

700. Mary Jo Netherton, 61, refused the midnight stranger's request to use the phone in her Knoxville, Tennessee, home. Suddenly, the 26-year-old invader burst through her front door and began hitting and shoving the woman across the room. Pointing a gun at her head, the intruder demanded the receipts from a restaurant she operates. Helpless, Netherton feared she would be killed without her hearing-impaired boyfriend -- asleep in the next room -- ever coming to her rescue. She was wrong. From the darkness, James Roy Patton emerged, shoving a snubnose .38 into the assailant's chest and firing. Though the criminal had donned a bullet-proof vest, it fit too loosely, allowing the bullet to find its mark. The crook, who had an extensive violent criminal history, including fleeing police and weapons charges from just four months prior to Netherton's assault, died. "They were lucky. If they had not had a gun in the house, they'd have been dead," Knoxville Police Investigator Mike Hyde said. (The News-Sentinel. Knoxville, TN, 2/12197)

701. San Antonio, Texas, restauranteur Alfonso Orestes Benitez was entering his home with his wife and daughter when two men dashed from the street and confronted the family. One of the pair, with a gun in hand, attempted to force his way into the home. Benitez, a concealed-carry permit holder, pulled a .25 cal. semi-automatic pistol from his pocket and shot the gun-wielding robber. Both men fled, but one was arrested that evening when he appeared at a hospital for treatment of his wound. "Thank God my husband was armed," Benitez's wife. Diana, said after the incident. (The Express-News, San Antonio, TX, 1/19/97)

702. "He didn't stay long. He went running because I had something to make him run," said 77-year-old Anna Lee England after forcing a bandit from her Calloway, Kentucky, country store. The elderly woman was in the store her late husband built in 1967 when a masked man believed to be in his 20s entered and demanded everything in the cash register. Instead, England pulled out a .38 and ordered the thug to leave. He did so quickly. A suspect was soon detained and questioned in the case. "I just figured I had worked for what I had, and I was going to protect it. I was just using common sense," England said. (The Daily News, Middleboro, KY. 10/15/96)

June, 1997

703. Five hoodlums strolled brazenly into a Miami, Florida, Burger King in the middle of the morning and ordered the cashiers to give them the money in the registers. While two of them held their guns on the employees and customers, two other suspects jumped across the counter. A brief scuffle ensued and the men ran from the restaurant. As one of the suspects exited the building, he turned to shoot. It proved to he his undoing. By that time, manager Ulysses Williams had upholstered his own gun. He fired first, striking the suspect dead. Police were still searching for the other four suspects. (The Herald, Miami, FL, 12/12/96)

704. A brief crime spree came to a quick end when a Houston, Texas, bandit attempted to carjack a carry permit holder. A man was fueling his car when a gun-toting robber approached him and demanded his wallet, keys and car. Unable to find the right car key, the crook ran into the intersection and pointed his gun in the window of Robert Eichelberg's van. Eichelberg, a concealed-carry permit holder, fired a shot at the suspect. He then stepped from the van in an attempt to run to safety, but was confronted by the carjacker. The assailant fired several shots at Eichelberg, but missed. Eichelberg returned the fire, and didn't. The wounded thug was apprehended a block away. (The Chronicle, Houston, TX, 2/18/97)

705. The burglar evidently believed the first break-in of 57-year-old Floyd Williams' Lovington, New Mexico, home had been such an easy job that he returned just a week and a half later. During the first incident, the suspect beat Williams with a pipe, laying a three-inch gash across his head. But in the second burglary, Williams was ready, armed with a .25-cal. pistol. When the intruder broke through the front door, the homeowner fired, striking him in the leg. The wounded house-breaker ran to a car, and he and his accomplice fled the scene. Two months later, police discovered the body of the fatally wounded suspect in a ditch, where it was allegedly dumped by his accomplice after the man died from Williams' shot during their getaway. The accomplice was found and arrested. (The Avalanche-Journal, Lubbock, TX, 1/31/97)

706. Dubbing Marty Killinger, 61, and Dorothy Cunningham, 75, the "Pistol Packing Grandmas," Grant County, Washington, Sheriff Bill Wiester honored the two women for defending themsclvcs against four young thugs who had forced their way into the women's rural home after cutting the phone lines to the house. As the punks struggled with Killinger in an attempt to get her car keys, Cunningham retrieved a Luger pistol from her bedroom and chased the intruders into the yard, where they turned and began shouting taunts. Cunningham then loosed several shots over the heads of the suspects, who finally decided it was best to leave. "This is a clear message to criminals that senior citizens won't tolerate this type of behavior from these young punks," Wiester said. (The World Wenatchee, WA, 2/16/97)

707. Thugs, one of them armed with a pistol, ambushed 56-year-old Roberta Andrews and her daughter Leashea in a Gainesville, Florida, mall parking lot. The mother was trapped outside the car, but Leashea was able to jump into the driver's seat, where she fished around in the darkness and pulled out her .38 revolver -- the sight of which sent the assailants packing. (The Sun, Gainesville, FL, 3/22/97)

708. A 67-year-old Spartanburg, South Carolina, liquor store clerk was behind the counter when a robber strode in, pulled out a large butcher knife and demanded cash. The woman told him "No," pulled a .38 from beneath the counter and ordered him to leave. Doubting her conviction to use the gun, the knife-wielding bandit threatened her. The woman replied with a single gunshot. A sudden believer the man immediately ran from the store, empty-handed but unhurt. A search of the area by police turned up nothing. (The Herald-Journal, Spartanburg, SC, 2/5/97)

709. Mulberry, Arkansas, citizens are discussing the possibility of holding a festival to commemorate a foiled heist at the town's hank. An ex-con just three weeks out of prison was chased down by Mulberry's mayor and the public works director after the crook robbed the bank of more than $50,000 in February. Using a .22 rifle handed to them by a citizen, the two chased the suspect to a railroad bridge where law enforcement officers arrested the culprit. (The Democrat Gazette, Little Rock, AR, 3/16/97)

710. Deacon Bob McMillan grew suspicious of the 18-year-old man who had asked him to pray with him following services at a church in Apache Junction, Arizona. During a break in prayer, McMillan retrieved the .32-cal. pistol he kept in his car. Upon returning, his suspicions were confirmed as he found the stranger waving a handgun at his wife's head and at his two best friends and demanding the weekly offerings. McMillan pushed his wife out of the way and quickly shot the man, wounding him. He then called police. McMillan said later, "I felt I only had a split second to live." (The Tribune, Mesa, AZ, 3/19/97)

711. Defense Secretary William Cohen's brother, Robert, opened the door to his Bangor, Maine, home and found himself facing the same man he had filed a police report on for harassing him in a bar two weeks earlier. The man charged through the door and slashed Robert Cohen, who fought back with a single shot from a .22 pistol. Cohen attempted to back up the stairs, but again his six-foot, seven-inch attacker came after him cutting the homeowner on the face. Cohen fired a second shot that sent the intruder tumbling down the stairs. Police arrested the wounded man at the scene. Two accomplices were also later apprehended. (The Daily News, Bangor, ME, 3/1/97)

July, 1997

712. A bandit claiming to be armed strolled into a Frederick, Maryland, liquor store and attempted to rob a lone female cashier. Undaunted, the clerk reached for her own gun and pointed it at the suspect. No shots were required to send the man dashing from the store. Witnesses called police, who apprehended the criminal within blocks of the crime scene. (The News-Post, Frederick, MD, 3/11/97)

713. With her spouse struggling with a man they had caught breaking into their car, a St. Louis, Missouri, woman ran back into her home, called 911 and got a .38-cal. handgun. Meanwhile, the burglar produced a box-cutter and proceeded to slash the husband several times before the woman returned and loosed a fatal shot at the attacker. (The Post Dispatch, St. Louis, MO, 3/15/97)

714. An errant eight-point buck crashed through the window of a busy Brandon, Mississippi, clinic, scattering patients and staff. Panicked and confused, the whitetail trashed a couple of exam rooms and kicked a hole in a wall. When it became apparent there was no way to get the deer settled down, a doctor retrieved a gun from his car and put the animal down before anybody was hurt. (The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, MS, 3/6/97)

715. After hearing a late-night knock at the door of his Wichita, Kansas, home, Harvey Green went to investigate with his Smith & Wesson .357 revolver in hand. It was a good thing, too, as a pair of men asked to use the phone, then brandished a rifle and attempted to force their way inside after Green politely refused their request. "I fired one shot through the glass of the front door, and I hit one of them," Green said. The suspects fled and a wounded 18-year-old male was later admitted to an area hospital, where police apprehended him. Green, a champion pistol shot with a house full of trophies to prove it, said, "I could have finished him pretty easily. I still had five rounds left. But he was running away. I no longer considered him a threat. Guns sometimes save people's lives." (The Eagle, Wichita, KS, 4/26/97)

716. Two robbers picked the wrong house when they entered a Newport News, Virginia, residence. After hearing a commotion outside his bedroom door, a 20-year-old man readied himself with his .22 rifle for a confrontation. When his door was kicked down by an armed and masked man, he shot the intruder. The crook's accomplice fled. The two men had robbed the man's roommate of cash and ransacked his room. (The Daily Press, Newport News, VA 4/3/97)

717. Ruth Gray, 86, of Augusta, Georgia, came in from her backyard to find her home being ransacked. She crept to where she kept her .38 handgun and began looking for the intruder. "He thought he was going to get out the back door ... but I locked it." She shot the would-be burglar in the hand and he fled the home. He was apprehended a month later by police. At the crook's hearing, the judge said to the woman, "I hope when I'm 86 I can shoot as well as you can." (The Chronicle, Augusta, GA 11/2/96)

718. Three masked men entered a Moulton, Alabama, home in an attempt to rob the family living there. After one of the intruders placed a pistol to the head of a man in the house, a female resident said she needed to go into a back room to get her baby. Instead, she returned with a pistol and began firing at the intruders. Two of the men fled, while the third was held for police. One suspect turned himself in. The third was still at large, but police knew his identity and an arrest was expected. All of the bandits had criminal histories, including one who was awaiting trial for rape at the time of the home invasion. (The Daily, Decatur, AL, 4/21/97)

719. After hearing his back door being kicked in, Michael Carter, of Kansas City, Missouri, grabbed his gun. Confronted by an invader, he pleaded with the man to leave. Instead, the intruder charged, forcing Carter to fatally shoot him in the chest. The break-in was the second for Carter in less than a week. Police said of the incident, "You have [here] a perfect example of the appropriate use of a firearm in the home." (The Star, Kansas City, MO, 4/10/97)

720. Herbert Reese, 65, of Montgomery, Alabama, knows the value of having a firearm for personal protection. He owns a convenience store that has been robbed six times since 1989. The last robbery proved fatal for the thug. After closing his shop, Reese, a concealed-carry permit holder, was approached by the young crook, who displayed a pistol and demanded his wallet. Reese complied, but then drew his .38 revolver and shot the robber dead. In four of the previous incidents, a firearm had been used to prevent a robbery, and Reese has never been charged for defending himself. "You would have thought people would know not to rob around here by now," he said. (The Advertiser, Montgomery, AL, 3/18/97)

721. Car thieves are rarely caught in the act, but that was not the case for an alleged thief who tried to take Jesse Ramierez's car. Ramierez, of San Antonio, Texas, awoke to find his car being hot-wired early one morning. He grabbed his 9mm Beretta pistol and dashed outside to pursue the fleeing suspect in another vehicle. After a brief chase, Ramierez apprehended the suspect and held him for police. Police said Ramierez will not be charged. (The Express News, San Antonio, TX, 4/10/97)

722. An alert postman in rural Reno County, Kansas, rounded up a posse of sorts after witnessing a suspicious vehicle cruising up the driveway of a home where he knew the owners were away. The postal worker and four armed, local residents returned to the home to find it being burglarized by two men. They ordered the pair to lie on the ground and alerted sheriff's deputies, who soon arrived on the scene. (The Eagle, Wichita, KS, 1/1/97)

August, 1997

723. An El Cajon, California, woman was relaxing with her two-year-old child when she heard a noise in a bedroom and decided to investigate. Upon finding an unknown male intruder there, she picked up a handgun and yelled, "Go away!" but the man advanced. A second warning from the woman went unheeded so she shot the housebreaker once in the chest. The man left the house and fell unconscious in the street where police arrested him. (The Union-Tribune, San Diego, CA, 5/13/97)

724. Two armed men strode into Danny Crosby's Baton Rouge, Louisiana, jewelry store, stealing 21 watches before running from the scene. Crosby and his son chased after them with firearms of their own. The elder Crosby tackled one of the suspects, who wriggled free and cut loose with several close-quarters shots at his captor. Both Crosbys returned fire, hitting the thug at least twice. The other suspect escaped. It is believed a burglary at the store earlier that week may have been committed by the same suspects. (The Advocate, Baton Rouge, LA, 5/1/97)

725. "I was in fear of my life every second, and every second seemed like forever," Wethersfield, Connecticut, jewelry store owner Bill Murray said. Two men armed with stun guns entered his business, beat him and wrapped his head and hands with duct tape. As his store was being ransacked, Murray broke free of his bonds, grabbed a .38 pistol and shot and wounded one of the thieves. The second suspect made off with a bag of rare coins and jewelry, but a tear in the bag left a trail of valuables that police were able to follow to the suspect's hiding place a short distance away. Both suspects were arrested on burglary and assault charges. (The Courant, Hartford, CT, 4/25/97)

726. Hearing a call for help from a man whose briefcase had been stolen, Houston, Texas, District Judge Werner Voight gave pursuit to the man's assailant. Confronting the thief, the judge demanded he drop the briefcase. The briefcase-snatcher did, but began beating Voight. Voight, a concealed-carry permit holder, drew his 9 mm semi-automatic pistol and fired once, but the beating continued. The judge fired two more times, fatally striking his attacker. The man had a history of mental health problems as well as a criminal record. (The Chronicle, Houston, TX, 4/30/97)

727. David Kennedy Wiggins of East Gadsden, Alabama, lives by the golden rule, but carries a .38 pistol for good measure. When an armed man entered his pawn shop one afternoon and pointed a gun at him, Wiggins drew his own pistol and shot his assailant in the chest. The man fled, but a suspect fitting the description given to police was arrested and charged with attempted armed robbery at a hospital later that evening. The suspect had a drug-related criminal history. No charges have been filed against Wiggins. (The Times, Gadsden, AL, 4/18/97)

728. Shirley Croxton returned to her Baton Rouge, Louisiana, home one afternoon to find an unfamiliar vehicle in her driveway. Croxton immediately dialed 911 and then asked two neighbors to assist her in detaining the suspects who were still in her home. The neighbors armed themselves and ordered the burglars from the home. As a trio of bandits filed out of the house, it was discovered they were carrying firearms taken from the residence. They were quickly disarmed and held for police. (The Advocate, Baton Rouge, LA, 5/8/97)

729. J.C. Moore of Forestdale, Alabama, had little doubt as to what was happening when two armed and masked men burst into his jewelry store. The two thugs held guns on Moore and his sons and commenced looting the establishment. When one of the suspects dropped his bag of plunder, it offered Moore the diversion he needed to grab his pistol and open fire. Both suspects were wounded, one of them fatally, but the other was able to flee before being apprehended alone with a getaway driver. Police said, "A lot of people are arming themselves; it's self-preservation." (The News, Birmingham, AL, 4/9/97)

730. After a fellow merchant's wife and son were killed during a hold-up, Fred Higgs of Augusta, Georgia, began carrying a firearm. "I had to be prepared to defend my life or any customers," Higgs said. Early one morning, Higgs, who had fallen asleep in his store, awoke to find an intruder. He grabbed a .38 revolver and confronted the burglar. When the man drew his arm rearward to strike Higgs with a crowbar, the businessman fired two fatal shots. (The Chronicle, August, GA, 5/7/97)

731. A San Bruno, California, man whose car had been burglarized several times was determined that the next time would be unsuccessful for the robbers. Early one morning, the man found two suspects breaking into his car. He called 911, then detained the burglars at gunpoint until police arrived. One of the suspects was armed with an illegally carried handgun. (The Examiner, San Francisco, CA, 4/27/97)

732. Jacksonville, Florida, store owner Hong In Kim had just been held up by two gun-toting criminals when he armed himself with a shotgun and pursued the felons. The men traded shots with Kim, who hit one of the assailants. The second suspect fled and was apprehended after hiding under a house. Kim is not expected to be charged as he was defending himself, police said. (The Times Union, Jacksonville, FL, 4/26/97)

733. Jerry Sanchez was surprised to see a gun being pointed in his face and a young crook demanding money from him at his Denver, Colorado, store. The felon was even more surprised when Sanchez slapped his hand away and drew his own .45 cal. revolver from under the counter. The man and an accomplice fled without a shot being fired. (Rocky Mountain News, Denver, CO, 4/9/97)

September, 1997

734. When two men wearing Halloween masks, one of them armed, entered her Indianapolis, Indiana, apartment, Wajibu Wynn knew they were not trick-or-treaters. She awoke to hear a commotion in her living room and reached for her pistol. Her sister had been accosted by one of the men after having been sprayed with a Mace-like chemical spray. The men were forcing the woman to a back bedroom when Wynn emerged with her gun and shot one of the intruders, killing him. The second attacker fled, but was apprehended a short time later. (The Star, Indianapolis, IN, 5/16/97)

735. Fortner police officer Fred Prasse was in a St. Louis, Missouri, pawn shop one afternoon when three men stormed into the business. One of the robbers pressed a shotgun against Prasse's head and threatened to kill him. Concerned for himself and the store's employees, Prasse spun around, knocking the shotgun away but not before it discharged, striking him in the hands. Undaunted by the injury, Prasse used a Judo move to knock his attacker back when the man came back at him swinging the shotgun like a club. The move gave the former law officer time to draw a .38 and end the whole episode with several fatal shots. The two other men fled, but were later arrested when they showed up at a hospital, where they sought help as one of them had been struck by the shotgun blast during the holdup. (The Post Dispatch, St. Louis, MO, 5/30/97)

736. When two armed men entered his Lexington, North Carolina, pawn shop, put a .38 cal. pistol to his head, and forced him to the back of the store, William Grist knew he had to act quickly. He grabbed his assailant's pistol and then pulled one of his own, shooting the would-be robber in the stomach. The bandit ran for the door, but Grist pursued and fired at both thugs as they ran from the store. They were later arrested along with a woman who had helped them case the store. (The Dispatch, Lexington, NC, 5/21/97)

737. Located in a crime-plagued West Tampa, Florida, neighborhood, Victor Elias'jewelry store was a prime target for a holdup. Elias knew this and was ready when one day two men entered his store and announced they were armed. One vaulted the counter, and a struggle ensued between him and Elias, during which Elias shot the robber. The second suspect fled, but was later apprehended along with an alleged getaway driver. (The Tribune, Tampa, FL, 5/21/97)

738. A Birmingham, Alabama, family's night of terror came to an end after a 16-year-old youth defended his mother and siblings from his mother's estranged husband, who had been threatening to shoot into the home all evening. Frightened, the family barricaded itself in an upstairs bedroom. When their tormentor broke into the house via a back door, his violence was answered by the youth, who delivered several fatal shots through the bedroom door. The youth was not charged. (The News, Birmingham, AL, 5/29/97)

739. Anne Barry of Bowling Green, Kentucky, knows the importance of having a firearm. "If I hadn't had that gun, I wouldn't have had a chance," she said. She was asleep alone in her home when she heard the sound of her garage door being broken in. She grabbed her .357 Mag. revolver and waited for the intruder, who appeared in her hallway brandishing a pistol. As he turned to look into another room, she fired once, hitting the man. He fled, but was arrested for an alleged break-in not far from Barry's home. "If he would have turned around, he would have killed me. It was survival. It was him or me," she said. Police lauded Barry's actions. (The Daily News, Bowling Green, KY, 5/14/97)

740. Two Gainesville, Florida, crooks proved to what lengths criminals will go to prey on the unsuspecting. Posing as police officers, the two would force people to pull over by flashing their headlights and then rob them at gunpoint. The ruse backfired one evening, however, when the men forced Thomas Lever to the side of the road. As one of the bandits, brandishing a gun, jumped from his car and approached Lever in his van, the citizen pulled a pistol of his own, sending the suspect running back to his car. Both suspects quickly left the scene. (The Sun, Gainesville, FL, 5/17/97)

741. A Norristown, Pennsylvania, woman was walking home when she was viciously attacked by two pit bulls. Hearing the woman's screams, Ernest C. Webb came to the rescue with his .380 cal. pistol after first calling 911. When one of the dogs turned on him, he shot it, hitting it in the leg. Both dogs ran off. The dogs are thought to belong to drug dealers who use them for protection and enforcement in the high-crime neighborhood. (The Times Herald, Norristown, PA, 5/24/97)

742. A late-night commotion in an Albuquerque, New Mexico, doughnut shop caused an employee to investigate with his pistol at the ready. He found a female clerk being held on the counter by a man who had a knife pressed to her neck. The male employee, a cook, ordered the man to drop the knife, and when the attacker failed to comply, the cook fired his pistol. The robber ran, but was found near the scene, dead of a gunshot wound. (The Journal, Albuquerque, NM, 5/22/97)

743. After seeing heavy police activity in his neighborhood and hearing that two suspects were being pursued, Tom Samonek of Zephyrhills, Florida, loaded his Colt pistol and decided to inspect a barn and abandoned mobile home on his property. Returning home, he and his wife found the fugitives in their house. Samonek ordered the pair to lie on the floor and held them until police arrived. They were wanted in conjunction with a car theft and a two-county car chase. It was the third time in as many years Samonek has used his firearm to subdue an attacker without firing a shot. (The Times, Pasco, FL, 6/10/97)

October, 1997

744. A history of alleged physical abuse by her ex-boyfriend, William Barbour, convinced Christine Pittman of Guilford Township, Pennsylvania, to buy a .25-cal. pistol. When he broke through a dead-bolted door into her home early one morning, she dialed 91l and then gave her pistol over to her boyfriend, Patrick Atkinson. When Barbour rushed Atkinson, the new boyfriend loosed five shots into his attacker. The shooting was ruled a justifiable homicide by the District Attorney as Atkinson "reasonably feared for his own safety and that of Christine Pittman." Barbour had a history of abuse and a criminal record. (The Herald Mail, Hagerstown, MD, 3/15/97)

745. A San Francisco, California, art dealer was awakened at 2 a.m. by the sound of breaking glass in his home. Fearing for the safety of his daughters, who were asleep downstairs, Allen Leung dialed 911 for help and grabbed his .38-cal. handgun. The intruder made his way into Leung's bedroom, demanded money and threatened him. Leung shot the man in the chest. The burglar had a criminal record. Leung was not expected to be charged because he acted in self-defense, police said. (The Chronicle, San Francisco, CA, 4/4/97)

746. Cayetana Martinez of Eloise, Florida, is 82. His age may have been what prompted two miscreants to view him as an easy target and break down his door and enter his home. Little did they know that he was armed with a 9 mm handgun and knew how to use it. Martinez killed one suspect and sent the other fleeing. The elderly gentleman was not injured. (The Herald, Bradenton, FL, 6/7/97)

747. Kenton Larson, 61, lives in a quiet, remote canyon. He is far from his neighbors in Yucaipa, California, and he has a Winchester Defender 12-ga. shotgun for home defense. He was pushed into using it one night when he awakened to find an intruder in his home. "I cocked the shotgun, chambering a shell, as I was about to enter the room he was in. He about went through the ceiling. I scared him to death," Larson recalled. He walked the frightened burglar to his phone, called 911 1 and then held him until police arrived. The suspect is thought to have been responsible for other crimes in a nearby community. (The Sun, San Bernardino, CA, 3/28/97)

748. After cutting the phone lines, a pair of burglars broke into Mary Scherer's home in Decatur, Indiana. Scherer had seen the intruders outside before they entered and alerted her stepson Ryan, who grabbed a 20-ga. shotgun. When the intruders began to beat Mary with a fire extinguisher, Ryan shot one of them in the chest. The second burglar fled to a waiting car. The wounded intruder stumbled into the garage, where he died. Police caught the other suspect and believe the two were responsible for a rash of burglaries in the area. (The News Sentinel, Ft. Wayne, IN, 3/20/97)

749. Twelve-year-old Walter Sheehan of Odessa, Texas, awoke to the sound of noises coming from his parents' bedroom. With both his mother and father away at work, Sheehan became suspicious and decided to investigate. He confronted a stranger who had taken some jewelry and begun heading toward the living room. The boy pulled his father's pistol from a dresser drawer and pointed it at the intruder, who, along with an accomplice, hastily fled. Walter promptly called 91l and waited for the police. "I'm glad he did what he did. Walter's my hero," his mother said. (The American Odessa, TX, 3/29/97)

750. When two intruders, one armed, entered a 77-year-old man's Baton Rouge, Louisiana, home, they got more than they bargained for. Finding the elderly homeowner in bed, the thugs ordered him into the living room, where they forced him to lie on the couch. The pair then left him unattended while they ransacked his home. The man went to his bedroom and armed himself with a .357 handgun. He announced this fact, but one of the crooks opened the bedroom door, where upon the elderly man shot him in the chest. The second suspect fled. (The Advocate, Baton Rouge, LA, 3/31/97)

751. A quick-thinking Spokane, Washington, gas station clerk sent two thugs packing empty-handed. The would-be robbers, one of them claiming to be armed and holding his hand under his shirt, demanded money upon entering the store. As the clerk emptied cash from the drawer, he purposely dropped some so he could bend over far enough to retrieve his handgun. He then pointed it at the bandits, who ran from the building. Two suspects were later arrested on suspicion of burglary. (The Spokesman Review, Spokane, WA, 6/6/97)

752. Al Abel was watching television in his Buda, Texas, home when he heard the sound of breaking glass. He grabbed his shotgun and, upon opening his front door, found four teens standing on his porch. He ordered them to the ground, but they began running instead. As they fled, the group drew pistols and fired at Abel, who fearlessly pursued them. Abel was struck in the hip, but returned fire, killing one of the thugs. The other suspects were arrested and charged with attempted murder, among other crimes. A Navy veteran, Abel said, "I didn't mean to hurt anybody. I was just hoping to run them off" His home had been burglarized five times in the past eight years. (The American Statesman, Austin, TX, 5/9/97)

753. Animal control must sometimes be performed with a firearm. Bill Call of Ogden, Utah, was walking his miniature schnauzer when it was attacked by a pit bull. Call tried to intervene, but received bites from the ferocious dog for his trouble. After a passing letter-carrier tried to subdue the large dog with pepper spray, Call drew his .22 derringer and shot the vicious canine in the head, killing it instantly. Police said Call had no other option to save the schnauzer as well as protect himself (The Tribune, Salt Lake City, UT, 4/7/97)

November/December 1997

754. Glennpool, Oklahoma, pawnshop owner Phil Martin kept a gun behind the counter for protection. When an armed thug entered the shop and demanded cash, Martin readily complied as his two children were present. The robber complained that there was not enough money and, when the crook momentarily turned his gun away, Martin drew his own .38 cal. pistol from behind the counter and ordered him to drop the gun. The bandit made a move toward him and Martin shot him. "In the end, I thought he was going to shoot me, so I shot him before he could," Martin said. (The World, Tulsa, OK, 7/19/97)

755. Jim Vaughn, of Jensen Beach, Florida, was sure someone had broken into his home while he was at work. Betting that the burglar would return, Vaughn left for work one morning and then returned to await the house-breaker in a back bedroom. He had only been home a short time when he heard a rustling sound at the pet door meant for his schnauzer. When the burglar peeked around the bedroom doorway he was staring into Vaughn's .357 Mag. The burglar was identified as Vaughn's next-door neighbor and arrested. Asked if he was worried about the bandit being released from jail, Vaughn shook his head and replied, "We had a little prayer meeting. I made a believer out of him." (The Post, Palm Beach, FL, 2/20/97)

756. After having a black bear leave claw marks on his doors and walls and even enter his secluded Charlemont, Massachusetts, home, Edward Root kept his 16-ga. shotgun handy just in case it returned. Root had spoken to the Massachusetts Environmental Police about the bear -- which had been ransacking Root's home and yard for about three weeks -- and the agency advised him to "protect himself." His concern was well founded as the bear returned and made for the house -- and Root -- as he was standing at his front door. Root said, "He was not scared of me at all. He had absolutely no fear." The bear was approaching the front door when the homeowner shot twice, killing it. (The Recorder, Greenfield, MA, 6/30/97)

757. While making dinner one evening, Robin DeLaurie, of Port St. Lucie, Florida, noticed an unfamiliar truck with two men in it driving up and down his street. Later, there was only one man in the truck and DeLaurie saw the second was leaving his neighbor's garage with a weed eater and a chain saw. DeLaurie, a concealed-carry permit holder, confronted the thief, who came at him with the chain saw. DeLaurie then drew his .357 Mag. and ordered the man to lie down. Police were called and the burglar was arrested. The man is thought to be responsible for a rash of burglaries in the neighborhood. (The Tribune, Port St. Lucie, FL, 6/24/97)

758. Hendersonville, North Carolina, homeowner Bobby Eubanks and his wife were preparing to retire for the night when they heard glass breaking in another room of their home. Eubanks told his wife to call 911 and then grabbed his pistol and went towards the sound. He discovered an intruder and held him until police arrived. (The Times-News, Hendersonville, NC, 6/11/97)

759. Jeffery Brobst, of Hilltown, Pennsylvania, knows the value of having a firearm for protection. When he awoke early one morning to hear someone in his home, he alerted his sister, had her call 911, got his .22 cal. rifle and went to the top of the stairway in their two-story home. There he saw an unknown intruder and said, "Don't come up the stairs." The knife-wielding invader ignored the warning and headed towards Brobst, who shot him in the upper chest. Brobst ordered him to put the knife down and then held the crook at bay until police arrived. (The Morning Call, Hilltown, PA, 6/29/97)

760. A man awoke early one morning to hear his front porch window being opened. He went to investigate and saw an intruder coming through the window. The resident ran to the back of the home and retrieved his handgun. When he returned to the front, the housebreaker was in his living room. The resident ordered him to stop, but the culprit fled to a waiting car. (The Herald Times, Bloomington, IN, 6/16/97)

761. Sherry Rives, of Bear Creek, North Carolina, emerged from her shower to see a knife-wielding man coming towards her. When he threatened to rape her, she ran into her bedroom and got her 9 mm pistol. The two wrestled for the pistol and Rives was wounded in the thigh. She then gained control of the pistol and shot her tormentor several times, forcing him to flee. She then locked herself in the bathroom and called police. When police arrived, they found the would-be rapist dead with four bullet wounds to the chest. The woman's father said she kept the pistol in the house for protection and she knew how to use it. (The Herald, Sanford, NC, 6/13/97)

762. After seeing a distraught convenience store clerk through the window of the store, Terry Runions thought something was amiss. The North Little Rock, Arkansas, man grabbed his 9 mm Ruger pistol from his truck and waited as two armed men emerged from the store, followed by the clerk. Runions ordered the two to stop and get down on the ground. They complied and the clerk disarmed them. The two robbers, one on parole, the other a convicted felon, were held for police. One robber said, "We would have made it, if it [wasn't] for that big dude!" (The Democrat Gazette, Little Rock, AR, 6/10/97)

763. Upon returning home from a shopping trip, a Calhoun County, Alabama, couple found two men in their home. The husband got his pistol from his truck and chased them out of the house into a wooded area behind the house. He caught them and held a gun on them until police arrived. The two men are suspects in other burglaries in the area and several stolen firearms and valuables were recovered after the suspects scattered them while in flight. (The Daily Home, Pell City, AL, 7/12/97)

January, 1998

764. Although ailing, Mark Falletti successfully stopped two armed home invaders early one morning in his Boston, Massachusetts, home. The men kicked in the front door of the apartment and ran up the stairs towards the Falletti's bedroom. While his wife called 911, Falletti confronted the intruders with a pistol, When he startled them and knocked one intruder's pistol out of his hand, they fled. When one tried to reenter the home to return for the dropped gun, Falletti shot him in the leg. The two men again fled. A man with a gunshot wound to the leg was later questioned at a local hospital. Falletti suffers from cancer and later said he acted to protect his seven-month-old son who had been asleep in his upstairs bedroom. "I did it because of the kid," said Falletti. (The Boston Herald, Boston, MA, 7/24/97)

765. Following a ride in a cab, a 17-year-old Newport, Rhode Island, youth tried to rob the driver. The youth first threw a large rack at the driver, hitting him in the head, and then he pulled out a long screwdriver and threatened to kill him. The quick-thinking cabbie stepped on the gas -- throwing the youth against the seat -- then stopped and pulled a 9 mm pistol, which he was licensed to carry. He radioed his dispatchers to call police and held the youth until they arrived. The young crook had a history of criminal activity and had been reported missing from a state program for juvenile offenders. (The Journal-Bulletin, Providence, 7/4/97)

766. After deceiving threatening phone calls from a male acquaintance, a Virginia Beach, Virginia, woman feared she might be confronted by the man. One morning he appeared at her door under the pretense of retrieving a hair dryer he had lent the woman and her husband. She asked him to wait while she went to get the dryer and shut the door. While she was in die bedroom, the man broke into the home, went to the kitchen and armed himself with a steak knife. Her tormentor threatened her and confronted her in the bedroom, where she drew her husband's semi-automatic pistol from a nightstand drawer. After several unheeded warnings, the man lunged at her. She fired and hit him several times. The attacker, a criminal out on bond, died a short time later. The woman will not be charged, police said. (The Virginian-Pilot, Hampton Roads, VA, 9/11/97)

767. When she first heard glass breaking early one morning outside her South Nogales, Arizona, home, Zelda Hunt thought kids were just breaking bottles. As the noise continued, however, she realized it was coming from the front of her house. She grabbed her portable phone and .22 cal. Smith & Wesson revolver and went to investigate. She saw a figure outside on her enclosed porch kneeling next to a shattered window and dialed 911. She opened the door and confronted the would-be intruder. The man tried to leave, but she said, "Oh, no! You're not going anywhere. Sit down in that chair and stay there. "She held him until police arrived. (The Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, AZ, 9/4/97)

768. After her Carroll Valley, Pennsylvania, home was burglarized, Linda Steinle bought a .40 cal. pistol and took courses to learn how to safely use it. She heard a screen being knocked out of a back window one morning and, pistol in hand, went to investigate. She found three teenagers discussing breaking into her home and getting ready to hot-wire the ATV parked under her back deck. Steinle told them to freeze. She said, "Don't do anything stupid ... l know how to use this." She led the three into her home where she dialed 911 and held them for police. The three face charges of criminal conspiracy and attempted burglary. (The Times, Gettysburg, PA, 8/30/97)

769. After her keys and a few other items were stolen from her Orlando, Florida, apartment, Caryn Anderson stayed home from work Anticipating the thief would return. Sure enough, the crook used the stolen keys to gain entry and she was waiting for him -- armed with a .38 cal. revolver. Anderson dialed 911 and told the dispatcher to send help. She then slammed the door shut on an alleged accomplice and trapped the would-be burglar inside. A struggle ensued and Anderson shot the crook in the arm. Police arrived and took the suspect into custody. The alleged robber was a neighbor hood teen. Two others were arrested in connection with the crime and all are suspects in at least five more burglaries. (The Sentinel, Orlando, FL, 9/5/97)

770. When Cindy and Daniel Murphy were awakened by noises in their home, the couple went to investigate. They found two invaders in their kitchen, and Daniel was felled by a shotgun blast. Fearing for the lives of her husband, herself and their two-year old child, Cindy ran to the bedroom and returned with a .38 cal. revolver. Murphy tired at the suspects, hitting one and forcing them to flee. Daniel Murphy was taken to the hospital and was in critical condition, but was recovering. Cindy Murphy was credited by police as being "heroic" and for "having the presence of mind to defend her fallen husband and two-year-old daughter." (The Constitution, Lawton, OK, 8/31/97)

771. A Newark, New Jersey, liquor store owner lived above his business to keep watch on the place when closed. One morning, the shopkeeper heard the alarm go off and went downstairs to investigate, armed with his 12-ga. shotgun. He found a man ransacking the store who threatened the owner with a large rock. The owner told the intruder not to move and the would-be thief lunged at him. A struggle ensued and the burglar was shot in the neck. The attacker escaped, but was found by police and arrested a short time later. The store's back window was broken and a hammer and a crowbar were found nearby. The intruder was charged with burglary and assault. The owner was not charged. (The Star-Ledger, Newark, NJ, 9/2/97)

February, 1998

772. A robbery attempt at an Atlanta, Georgia, barber shop was thwarted by an armed barber. Willie White was cutting the hair of one youth when he was confronted by two others; all three demanded money. White then pulled his own pistol and shot at all three would-be robbers. One attacker was killed, another critically injured and the third was held for police. Police later said, "It seemed like they knew what they wanted to do. But they picked the wrong person as the victim." No charges are being filed against White. (The Journal-Constitution, Atlanta, GA, 6/19/97)

773. Convenience store owner Nam Chun of Orange County, Florida, was fed up with criminals. Chun had been robbed four times and was determined there would not be a fifth. When an armed and masked man entered his store shortly after closing time and began beating on one of Chun's employees, it spurred the store owner into action. Chun drew his own pistol and shot the culprit three times. The robber stumbled out the door to the parking lot where he died. Chun was praised by fellow storeowners and patrons alike. One store patron said, "I'm glad that it happened, because it will teach other people not to take other people's money. Let everybody work for a living." (The Sentinel, Orlando, FL, 9/1/97)

774. Crooks sometimes don't consider the weight of numbers when they attempt A robbery. Three would-be robbers, one of them armed with a pistol, attempted to hold up McCary's Bar and Grille in St. Andrew's, South Carolina, but didn't bank on the crowd resisting so heavily. A Cook slipped out the back door and alerted a customer outside of the robbery in progress. The man grabbed a pistol from his car and spotted one of the robbers leaving the building. The man tackled the first suspect who was held for police by other patrons. The armed customer then entered the establishment, saw the robber holding a gun to the owner's head and opened fire. The thug stumbled out the door and collapsed across the street. The third crook got away, but was later captured when he returned to the scene to check on his accomplices. (The State, Columbia, SC, 8/2/97)

775. Two robbery attempts by the same ill-fated crook in one hour at homes just blocks apart from each other were thwarted by homeowners with guns. The intruder entered the first home wearing a mask and armed with a large knife. He threatened the homeowner in his bedroom; the man drew a pistol and ordered the interloper to stop. The invader fled and moved on to the second home. After breaking and entering - thus alerting the armed homeowner therein - the man began moving through the house. The second homeowner encountered the thug and ordered him to drop the knife. The knife-wielding intruder advanced on the armed citizen and was shot in the neck. Police were called to the scene of both homes and the suspect was arrested at the second one. Neither homeowner was charged. (The Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee, WI, 8/13/97)

776. Wade Walton, a Danville, Virginia, realty manager, gave a would-be robber more than he bargained for one morning. The culprit drew a 10"-long knife and demanded cash shortly after Walton had opened the office for business. When Walton replied that the establishment had none, the crook demanded Walton's wallet. Walton drew his .38 cal. Revolver instead, the mere sight of which sent the knife-wielding man packing. Police said, "Citizens have a right to protect life, limb and property." (Register & Bee, Danville, VA, 8/6/97)

777. The American Dream doesn't come cheap, and Samer and Khalid Mohd were not about to give their part up to a robber. The two immigrants run a downtown Miami, Florida, convenience store and keep a rifle close-by for protection. Wearing a shirt as a mask and socks on his hands, a would-be robber entered the brothers' store holding a knife over his head and demanding money. Samer ran to the nearby office, grabbed his semiautomatic SKS rifle and used it to make the thief surrender. Samer was joined by his brother and the two held the bandit until police arrived. "They were too fast for me," the foiled crook reportedly said. (The Daily News, Palatka, FL, 8/8/97)

778. A Tuscaloosa, Oklahoma, grocery store owner was closing up one evening When he saw two men approach his 15-year-old son outside. One of the men was armed with a handgun. As the robbers forced the boy into the store, the owner pulled his own firearm. One of the suspects shouted "He's got a gun!" and they both fled to awaiting van. The store owner followed, but the pair escaped. Three suspects were later apprehended. (The News, Tuscaloosa, AL, 8/18/97)

779. Robert Fray of Terrytown, Louisiana, is more wary of giving rides to Strangers now. After Fray drove two men to a town outside New Orleans, one put a knife to his throat and tried to rob him. As the three men struggled, Fray reached into the console of his car and drew a .380 semi-automatic pistol, shooting one of the thieves. The two crooks tried to escape but were apprehended by police. Police did not charge Fray as his actions appeared to be in self-defense. (The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, LA, 8/7/97)

780. Two men, one armed with a knife, attempted to rob a grocery store in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The store manager, Diana Surdukan, struggled with the knife-wielding thug and was stabbed three times in the back. She produced a handgun, then fired on her assailant, hitting him in the chest. The second suspect was held for police. "We don't anticipate any charges against Diana. This is obviously self-defense. She was fighting for her life," Albuquerque police said. (The Journal, Albuquerque, NM, 7/24/97)

March, 1998

781. Juanita Marcum of Bessemer City, North Carolina, is glad she was armed. After her ex-husband broke into her home and attacked her and her daughter with an ax, she drew her pistol and fatally shot him. The man had a history of domestic violence abuses. Police did not charge either woman. (The Gazette, Gaston, NC, 11/4/97)

782. Geneva Littlefield, 61, and her 95-year-old mother are quiet women who keep to themselves in their East Hall, Georgia, home. Geneva keeps a .38 cal. revolver in case others don't do the same. After cutting the phone lines of the elderly women's home, a man broke in early one morning. Geneva heard him begin to choke her mother, so she shot him in the groin. Unable to call police and unwilling to leave her mother alone with the wounded burglar, she held him at gunpoint until she could alert passing neighbors. (The Times, Gainesville, GA, 10/18/97)

783. After 11 years of mental and physical abuse, Elizabeth Johnstone finally summoned the courage to leave her husband. When his harassment continued, she filed a restraining order and purchased a .44 cal. revolver in case he violated it. He did. The man broke into her West Melbourne, Florida, home one morning and threatened to kill her with a 12-ga. shotgun. The couple's little boy grabbed his father's legs, begging him not to hurt his mother. The man ignored his son and began dragging his estranged wife through the house. He had succeeded in handcuffing her left wrist when the woman's great-grandmother handed her the .44. Several shots later, the abusive husband lay on the floor, dead. (Florida Today, Melbourne, FL, 10/23/97)

784. Three young bandits found out the hard way that crime does not pay. Breaking into a Lawton, Oklahoma, home, the trio found the homeowner hiding in her bedroom. When they saw that she was armed, the pointed pistols at her, but she opened fire first,forcing the group from the home. Outside, the encountered a police officer whom they also tried to engage, but the officer was a better marksman. One suspect was killed and a second wounded. The third was arrested. (The Daily Oklahoman, Lawton, OK, 10/23/97)

785. Warren, Ohio, music store owner James Pugh thwarted a robbery attempt in his store late one evening. A man entered the store and acted as if he had a gun. He demanded money, but Pugh pulled his own gun, sending the would-be robber running. (The Vindicator, Youngstown, OH, 10/25/97)

786. When her ex-boyfriend forced his way into her Greenville, South Carolina, apartment, Alexcia Fant knew he was not there to reconcile. He threw her to the floor, began choking her, and threatened to kill her. In response, she drew a .38 cal. pistol and fired twice, fatally hitting him. The man had a history of assault charges. (The News, Greenville, SC, 10/29/97)

787. After being held up several times, a Bronx, New York, music store owner got a 9 mm Beretta pistol to thwart further attempts. Late one morning he buzzed a supposed customer into his store, but once inside, the man produced a pistol and demanded money. A struggle ensued, and the owner drew his own firearm, whereupon he fatally shot the bandit. (The Times Union, New York, NY, 10/30/97)

788. While withdrawing money from a Memphis, Tennessee, ATM, Bobby Holland was approached by two men, one of whom was armed. The two demanded money, but Holland, a concealed-carry permit holder, drew a pistol instead and shot them. Police are investigating the two suspects in connection with other area robberies. Holland will not be charged. (The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN, 10/17/97)

789. Lyle Torpey of Enumclaw, Washington, awoke to hear his basement door being broken in. An intoxicated youth entered the home and began to come up the stairs. Torpey called 911 and warned the intruder that he was armed and would fire if the youth continued his advance. The young man wisely retreated downstairs, where police found him and arrested him. He was charged with burglary and is being investigated for driving while intoxicated. (Valley Daily News, Kent, WA, 10/4/97)

790. When an enraged neighbor broke down the door of his Kramer Junction, California, home and threatened to kill him, Kenneth Oliver suspected he did not want a cup of sugar. He told the intruder he was armed and not to enter, but the housebreaker ignored the warning and proceeded inside. Oliver shot the intruder once in the upper chest, killing the man. (Daily Press, Victorville, CA, 9/30/97)

791. When she heard her pet parrot making noises one morning in the living room of her Delray Beach, Florida, home, Gail Ennis went to investigate. She found a 7'3" alligator pressed against the window. In the time it took to dial 911, the reptile pushed its way through the screen and into the house. Her husband, Howard, grabbed his .357 Mag. revolver and shot the beast, killing it instantly. (People, 10/14/97)

792. The customer strolled into the Enfield, North Carolina, convenience store, paid for a pair of latex gloves, put them on, and with a laugh told clerk Elton Gillikin, "In just a minute, we're going to have some fun 'cause I'm going to rob you." The convenience store clerk, a former security officer, didn't wait for clarification from his assailant. Gillikin immediately pressed the store's silent alarm and drew his .38 cal. pistol. The clerk then held the no-longer-laughing would-be robber until police arrived and took him into custody. (Daily Herald, Roanoke Rapids, NC, 9/26/97)

April, 1998

793. Rafael Fernandez's Philadelphia check-cashing agency had been robbed one too many times. He obtained a right-to-carry permit, determined that he would not be a victim again. While entering the rear of his store one morning, he was approached by an armed man who tried to force his way in. Fernandez drew his .45 cal. Pistol and shot the man, who died a short time later. An accomplice drove off at the sound of the shots and was being sought by police. (The Daily News, Philadelphia, PA, 10/15/97)

794. When a masked man armed with a shotgun burst into Sam's St. Johns Seafood restaurant in Jacksonville, Florida, and announced a robbery, diners Oscar Moore and Robert Guerry were spurred to action. As the man held terrified patrons hostage and demanded that a waitress open the cash register, Moore and Guerry, both armed with .22cal. pistols, opened fire, hitting the robber several times. The suspect fled but was later apprehended and charged with armed robbery. Moore said, "Somewhere along the line, we the people have to start protecting ourselves." (The Times-Union, Jacksonville, FL, 10/24/97)

795. A rash of burglaries in Sutton, West Virginia, came to an end when armed citizens intervened. After seeing a man inside a closed store, a woman called the owners, Linda Shaver and Brenda Argabrite. The two armed themselves and confronted the intruder, holding him for police. The man is suspected of 15 breaking-and-entering crimes. (Braxton Citizens News, Sutton, WV, 10/14/97)

796. William Cobb of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is glad he carries a pistol on him at all times. While mowing his lawn one afternoon, he was approached by a masked man armed with a pistol and demanding money. Cobb obliged him. When the crook demanded more, Cobb drew his own .38 cal. revolver and shot the man, killing him. Police said, "He was put in a position where he had no choice He was going to give up the money. He had no intention of pulling the gun." (Daily Advocate, Baton Rouge, LA, 10/14/97)

797. Liquor store clerk Thomas Beasley of Cordele, Georgia, felt the pressure of a pistol in his side and heard his assailant say, "Give it up, give it up!" Beasley drew a .38 cal. pistol from his pocket and fired twice, hitting the robber. The crook managed to get off two shots himself, wounding Beasley, who was still able to lock the store's door, trapping his attacker inside until police arrived. The man, a convicted robber out on parole, died at the scene. (The Dispatch, Cordele, GA, 10/10/97)

798. Peter Sabatini of Orlando was riding his bicycle one afternoon when he was attacked by a youth armed with what later turned out to be a pellet pistol. The attacker threatened him with the gun and tried to take the bike. Fearing for his life, Sabatini, a carry permit holder, drew his .45 pistol and fatally shot his assailant. The youth had a criminal history. (The Sentinel, Orlando, FL, 10/18/97)

799. The young drifter asked 84-year-old James Ridener if he could use the phone in the elderly man's Indianapolis. Indiana, home. Ridener let him in, bat instead of using the phone. The man put what the homeowner thought was a gun to his neck and demanded money. Ridener drew his own pistol and shot his assailant, who fled. A wounded man was apprehended near the home an hour later.(The Star, Indianapolis, IN, 10/3/97)

800. A pair of teens -- one of them armed -- forced their way through the front door of Johnnie Mae Stewart's Charlotte, North Carolina, home and demanded that she give them her money. The 50-year-oldsingle woman went to a drawer to retrieve the cash, but saw her .22 pistol and decided to give them something else instead. She shot the armed crook, and the two intruders fled. The wounded suspect later fumed himself in to police.(The Observer, Charlotte. NC, 9/28/97)

801. When he heard screaming outside his Phoenix home, Joe Ligidakis looked out to see an elderly woman running across his front yard pursued by a male assailant who was beating her. Ligidakis grabbed a pistol and went outside to confront the man, who was savagely attacking the woman. The attack was stopped, and the man was held for police. The attacker has been linked to a series of 1994 rapes. (Arizona Republic, Phoenix, AZ, 9/27/97)

802. It's not every day that a man kneels on top of you while holding a gun to your head. When Gregory Blackinton, a right-to-carry permit holder, saw this happening to someone in Hartford, Connecticut, he drew his pistol and ordered the attacker to stop. When the armed hood turned his pistol on him, Blackinton fired. The wounded man was arrested and charged with carjacking and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. (The Day, Hartford. CT, 10/12/97 )

803. While he relaxed On the front porch of his Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, home. 71-year-old Leonard Carter was suddenly attacked by a drug-crazed thug. The two struggled and Carter managed lo break free and make it inside his home, followed by his much younger attacker. Carter ran upstairs and retrieved a .38 cal. Pistol while his tormentor was in the kitchen arming himself with a knife. Carter confronted the man and, when the intruder threatened to kill the homeowner, the elderly gentlemen fired two fatal shots. (The Daily News, Philadelphia, PA, 10/30/97)

804. Las Cruces, New Mexico, street cleaners Ramon Zamora and Jesus Zavala had been robbed before. They decided to do something about it anti got carry permits for their 9 mm pistols. When accosted by three youths who brandished pistols and threatened to rob them, the pair drew their own pistols and shot the three attackers, killing one and wounding the two others. Zamora and Zavala were not charged. (Sun News, Las Cruces, NM, 10/12/97)

May, 1998

805. "Any reasonable person would have acted the same way," noted District Judge Jim Hall in ruling that Rhonda Jones of Los Alamos, New Mexico, was legitimately defending herself after her boyfriend, Kalani Haughney, put a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her. Jones, who learned to shoot at age 11, fired two fatal shots at Haughney, who had abused her numerous times before and had also previously threatened two other acquaintances. (Monitor, Los Alamos, NM, 11/16/97)

806. Three to five brazen robbers used a stolen sport-utility vehicle to ram their way through the front door of a gun shop in a sparsely populated area of Fontana, California, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles, and began scooping up armloads of firearms. But the crash woke the 15-year-old son of the owners, who lived there, and he armed himself and told the suspects to freeze. They had other ideas, so he fired, killing one suspect. The others fled in another vehicle, taking two handguns and leaving some $25,000 in damage to the building. The boy was not arrested, and the family's name and that of the dead man were not released.(Mercury News, San Jose, CA, 11/26/97)

807. Her clothing was torn and there were scratches on her chest, but the woman attacked by a would-be midnight carjacker managed to reach under the driver's seat for her pistol. The attacker fled. The incident highlighted a recent poll taken by this newspaper about a controversial Louisiana law that allows people to shoot suspected carjackers. Some 37,296 readers responded to the question "Should the law allow you to kill a carjacker'?" The verdict: 92 percent said yes, eight percent no. (Daily Star, Hammond, LA, 12/697)

808. A pair of teenage hoodlums were well along in a wee-hours crime spree -having stolen a car, robbed a man of his wallet, and in quick succession robbed two hotels. a car wash and two convenience stores -- when they entered a7Eleven in Woodinville, Washington. Owner Otto Beach came out of a backroom to confront them, and one of the robbers pointed a gun at him. Beach fired, killing the man. The two intruders had a total rap sheet of 41 juvenile and adult offenses. The survivor had failed to appear in court 11 times. (The Seattle Times, Seattle, WA, 12/20/97)

809. Driving to work one morning, Jim Povia, of Sarasota, Florida, saw a state trooper with his service pistol drawn confronting a trio of male suspects during a traffic stop. Povia, a right-to-carry permit holder, pulled over and grabbed his .40 cal. pistol and went to the aid of the officer. The two held the men until backup arrived. The driver of the vehicle was driving with a suspended license and a gun was found in the rear of the vehicle. The three men were charged with felony weapons possession. (Herald-Tribune, Sarasota, FL, 11/13/97)

810. Two armed men attempted to rob Israel Marin's Dade, Florida, jewelry store after being buzzed inside. Marin grabbed a shotgun and engaged in a gunfight. He killed one of the crooks, injured the other, and, though wounded himself, held the thug for police. The men were professional crooks who had been sought by authorities. (The Herald, Dade, FL, 10/24/97)

811. An Olympia, Washington, woman heard a commotion in her back yard and went to investigate, armed with a .38 revolver. She was hit in the chest and knocked to the ground by a male assailant. She drew her pistol, aimed at the man, and said, "I am in fear for my life -- leave or I will shoot you." The man wisely jumped over a fence and fled. (The Olympian, Olympia, WA, 10/12/97)

812. When two masked men entered a Houston, Texas, home and attacked the homeowner, his 15-year-old son grabbed a shotgun and opened fire. The men fled, but one collapsed outside the house. He later died. Police did not file charges against the boy. (The Chronicle, Houston, TX, 10/14/97)

813. After his son alerted him to a gunfight in progress near their home, Michael Mclntee of Towner, North Dakota, grabbed a .22-250 rifle and went to investigate. He found a county sheriff wounded and a man threatening to kill a woman and two children. Believing the sheriff dead, Mclntee fired once, hitting the man. The woman began to flee, and the man shot at her. Mclntee fired once more, stopping the attack. The man, who turned out to be the woman's ax-husband, then turned his own gun on himself. He had a history of spousal abuse and violence. Mclntee said, "My goal was to prevent him from killing her and the kids." (Herald, Grand Forks, ND, 10/15/97)

814. Alarmed at the sound of gunfire in the halls of his Pearl, Mississippi, high school, Assistant Principal Joel Myrick ran to his car to retrieve a pistol. The shooter was an armed student who marched through the school firing on his fellow classmates and teachers. The assailant's efforts to escape the scene ground to a halt when another student used his own vehicle to force the suspect's white car into the grass, where it spun to a stop. Myrick used the delay to catch up to the armed student and hold him for police. Pearl schools Superintendent Bill Dodson said of Myrick, "We think he's a hero for keeping more lives from being lost. The young man with the gun still had rounds in the rifle and could have injured other people." (The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, MS, 10/2/97)

815. A youth armed with a butcher knife and a .25 cal. pistol entered Allen Khonja's Bridgeport, Connecticut, market and demanded money. Khouja had begun to comply when the would-be robber shot at him. Khouja then drew his .38-cal. revolver and fatally wounded the young vagabond. (Journal Inquirer, Bridgeport, CT, 10/31/97)

June, 1998

816. When Jason Goforth, 22, opened his door after hearing a woman's voice in the early morning hours of December 22, he didn't expect to have a man shove a rifle in his face. Then "a subject with a gun in his hand tried to kick the door in and push his way in," said LaVergne, Tennessee, police Capt. Robert Wolf. A brief struggle ensued, and according to police, Goforth pulled out his gun and shot the home invader three times. That was apparently enough to discourage two other intruders who had accompanied the first pair. The three who remained were arrested and charged with aggravated burglary. "Most of the facts on their face appear that (Goforth) was acting in self- defense," said Wolf. (The Tennessean, Nashville, TN, 12/23/97)

817. Gene Case was preparing to do landscape work outside an apartment complex when he noticed a crazed man who had been in a dispute with residents. Fearing a dire situation, Case retrieved a gun from a locked console in his truck before the man yanked a medical monitor away from an 80-year-old woman nearby, and according to witnesses, grabbed a 2-year-old girl from her mother's arms. Case yelled at the man throughout the ordeal, warning him to stop. Finally, fearing for the girl's life, Case told the would-be kidnapper that if he didn't release the child he would be killed. The man complied and Case then held him at bay until police arrived. The man was arrested for robbery by force or fear, kidnapping, indecent exposure and assault on a police officer. Case said he had applied for a right-to-carry permit soon after the Oklahoma Self Defense Act became law on Jan. 1, 1996. (Tulsa World, Tulsa, OK, 1/31/98)

818. An ordinary withdrawal for bank customer Bobby Holland turned into a fight for his life when two men attempted to rob him at gunpoint. As Holland, 25, who was armed, entered the Union Planters ATM station one Friday evening, two men followed, pointing a gun at him and threatening to kill him, according to police spokesman Lt. Richard True. Holland shot one attacker in the stomach and thigh, which sent the man to a hospital in critical condition. The other man was arrested at a hospital where he underwent treatment for a bullet wound to the thigh. Police said Holland has a state handgun permit to carry a firearm and that he would not be charged in the incident. (The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN, 10/21/97)

819. Video store owner David Ragan had to react quickly one Friday afternoon when a 6-foot 2-inch, razor-wielding "customer" appeared at his counter. After the man grabbed him, Ragan dropped to his knees, sliding out of his loose-fitting shirt. He used his left hand to hit the panic button and with his right hand grabbed his gun, which he is licensed to carry. A customer walking in the store moments later found the 5-foot 9-inch Ragan naked from the waist up and staring down at the man who was now spread-eagled on the floor. Ragan, who has a history of positive community activism, was quoted as saying, "I don't want to be killed, but I'm not going to take it. It's going to take more of us fighting back to send a message to these criminals that you can't get away with this." The suspect was arrested six minutes after the incident by police and was charged with first-degree robbery, possession of a deadly weapon during a felony and carrying a concealed deadly weapon, according to state police spokesman Cpl. Preston Lewis. (Sunday News Journal, Wilmington, DE, 1/25/98)

820. After two drivers pulled their vehicles into a store parking lot following a traffic altercation, a more personal and potentially violent confrontation occurred. The first driver, a 36-year-old man, came at the second driver with the knife blade of a pocket multi-tool. The second driver, who was licensed to carry a gun, countered the threat by drawing a 9 mm handgun. The would-be victim held the attacker until police arrived. Witnesses corroborated the victim's story, prompting police to charge the attacker with aggravated assault. (Paradise Valley Independent, Phoenix, AZ, 1/14/98)

821. Shortly before 2 a.m. a Bothell, Washington, homeowner was awakened by the noise of an intruder entering his bedroom through an unlocked sliding door. A brief confrontation ensued, during which the victim sustained injuries and the intruder threatened to kill the man and his wife. At some point during the struggle, the homeowner removed a handgun from a drawer and shot his tormentor, fatally wounding him. The couple was questioned at police headquarters afterward and released, with police calling the shooting an act of self-defense. It turns out that the intruder's rap sheet was extensive and included thefts and assaults in three counties. Said one woman of the neighborhood, where many leave their doors unlocked, "I suppose you always have that false sense of security." (The Seattle Times, Seattle, WA, 12/22/97)

822. A 56-year-old employee of the Illinois attorney general's office turned the tables somewhat on an intruder to the office's parking garage. The victim let the man into the garage after having been convinced that he was there to dispose of the garbage. Once inside, the intruder indicated he had a gun and intended to rob the victim. What the man didn't know is that the victim, already suspicious, had retrieved a .22 handgun from his vehicle. When the imposter garbage collector attempted to "pick up" cash from the victim rather than trash from the garage, the employee pulled his pistol and ordered the would-be robber to the ground. The employee held the man until the arrival of police, who discovered that the holdup man possessed only a crack pipe. The employee's gun had been unloaded and in a case, a legal way to transport it, police said. (The State Journal Register, Springfield, IL, 1/16/98)

July, 1998

823. Shannon Davis' visit to Aaron Lee and his mother at their Yakima, Washington, home was abruptly cut short by a threatening phone call from her abusive ex-boyfriend, James Armato. Soon afterward, Armato- who had been furloughed from jail only hours before- arrived at the house bent on causing as much mayhem as possible. He threw Davis down the porch steps, then went inside where his rampage was halted when Lee fired once from a small-caliber rifle. Armato died at the scene. (Yakima Herald-Republic, Yakima, WA, 1/18/98)

824. Seventy-eight year-old Mattie Sherman was prepared when she set out on Friday night to investigate a loud noise at the back door of her house. Before she could get that far, she met a man, already inside, advancing toward her. According to police, she fired five times from her .38-cal. handgun, sending the man fleeing. Later, officers found the intruder near a local elementary school with wounds to the head, neck and shoulder. They said he would face first-degree burglary charges. (Greensboro News & Record, Greensboro, NC, 4/28/98)

825. A 24-year-old man was inside his Camp Springs, Maryland, home with his eight-month-old son in the early afternoon when he heard his front door being kicked in. The resident grabbed a handgun and ran downstairs where he was charged by an intruder. The father fired several times, hitting the robber in the upper body, killing him. "We're assuming the motive was burglary, but he didn't get a chance to take anything," said a police spokesman. (The Washington Post, Washington, DC, 2/7/98)

826. When two men knocked on the front door of David Skirvin's home in Michigan's Ada Township to ask for help with car trouble, Skirvin didn't even make it to the telephone before the men began to struggle with him, ultimately shooting him twice in the head, according to sheriff's officials. Skirvin, whose sister-in-law described him as "the type to not back down from people and take any guff," was able to run upstairs and grab a rifle. He exchanged gunfire with the thugs, sending them fleeing. (Grand Rapids Press, Grand Rapids, MI, 2/5/98)

827. In a vicious attack, a 100-pound Japanese Akita knocked down Ellen Justice in front of her home in Plymouth, Massachusetts, when she attempted to collect her mail. As the dog tore at Justice's limbs, several neighbors tried to intervene. That's when Vincent Mallozzi, the brother of the dog's owner, shot the animal with a 20-ga. shotgun. Remarkably, though, it continued its rampage, attacking a police officer who arrived to pursue it. Patrolman Kenneth Rood eventually fired nine rounds from his .40-cal. handgun before the dog fell dead. Rood and Justice were both treated at a nearby hospital. Police said Mallozzi did the right thing. (The Patriot Ledger, Quincy, MA, 3/27/98)

828. As nurse Jim Shaver, 49, walked to his job early one morning in Eugene, Oregon, two men, ages 19 and 20, knocked him to the ground and began beating him in an apparent robbery attempt. Shaver, who was legally licensed to carry his .22-cal. revolver, twice warned the thugs that he was armed. Undissuaded, they continued the assault. That's when Shaver fired several shots, wounding the younger assailant and sending both men running. "I was in a position where I had to defend myself," Shaver said. (The Register-Guard, Eugene, OR, 3/11/98)

829. Revelyn Williams reacted quickly after hearing suspicious noises in her East Memphis, Tennessee, home by hiding her six-year-old grandson and then arming herself with her husband's .22-cal. handgun. She confronted two intruders in a bedroom as they removed stereo equipment, ordering them to leave. Said police Maj. Larry Young, "One man started coming at her, and she shot him several times." He was caught by police soon after and taken to an area hospital in critical condition. The accomplice fled the scene. (The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN, 2/5/98)

830. George Waters offered up the performance of his life after two armed, masked youths entered the Taylor Mill, Ohio, pawn shop where he worked and demanded money. Waters faked a heart attack, clutching his chest and falling to the floor in order to activate an alarm. But one of the gunmen began to suspect he'd been had, so Waters repeated his performance. This time, when he stood back up, he had a .45-cal. pistol in hand. He shot both masked bandits, wounding one critically. (The Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati, OH, 4/10/98)

831. Appraiser Clark Wheeler, 41, heard breaking glass shortly after midnight while working alone in his downtown Bozeman, Montana, office. He grabbed his .357-cal. handgun and walked down the hall to investigate. Wheeler surprised a man who had picked up a computer monitor and "encouraged him to leave" by yelling and firing a shot. The man fled. Wheeler later said he has no plans to stop working late. (Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Bozeman, MT, 4/13/98)

832. Ten-year-old Clarence Wimberly found himself in a terrifying position one morning when a pit bull pinned him down on the hood of a car. The dog clawed and growled viciously in the boy's face as he screamed and his mother pounded on the front door of a nearby house. When neighbor Marc McElroy answered and saw what was happening, he retrieved his .38-cal. revolver from inside and ran to the boy's rescue. After distracting the dog with barking sounds, McElroy fired one shot, which hit the crazed canine in the chest. Even though the dog fell to the ground, it attempted to continue the attack. McElroy closed in and finished the beast with a final shot. "I thank God I was there, and I thank God I had my gun," he said later. Young Wimberly escaped with only minor injuries. (Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, 3/5/98)

August, 1998

833. Manhattan jewelry store owner Gary Austen, 43, was bound with a necktie during a morning heist in which armed bandits menaced a customer and emptied the safe. Once free, Austen ran out of the store shouting, "Call the cops!" Then, chasing one suspect, he came face to face with the man at a blocked subway entrance. Austen drew his licensed .25 cal. handgun and fired twice. The bleeding man was later caught hiding in the basement of a pharmacy. He was hospitalized in serious condition and charged with first degree robbery and weapons possession. A female accomplice escaped. Austen was not charged in the incident. (The New York Times, New York, NY, 5/19/98)

834. According to Elko County, Nevada, Sheriff Neil Harris, a man who had befriended and later stalked Tracy Templeton deliberately waited until Templeton's husband was away one morning before entering the couple's house. The man beat Templeton in the face with the heel of his hand in an attempt to deliver a tactical blow designed to kill. But Templeton's 15-year-old son came to his mother's rescue. He first attempted to pull the man away, then ran into a bedroom where he grabbed a semi-auto .22-cal. handgun. When he returned, he fired three shots, killing the attacker. Templeton suffered a deep cut over her right eye, a broken cheek bone, a broken nose, and bruises. The assailant had been released from jail the previous night after serving time for the stalking. (Elko Daily Free Press, Elko, NV, 4/10/98)

835. After five break-ins at his Venice, Florida, home in less than six months, Jack Foster had had enough. Foster, a retired policeman, was awakened early one morning in yet another invasion of his privacy and soon found himself scuffling with the scofflaw. Foster grabbed a gun and fired three shots at the intruder, seriously wounding him. "You have the inalienable right to defend yourself up to and including using deadly force when you feel your life or the life of a family member is threatened," said Sarasota County Sheriff's Lt. Bill Stookey of the incident. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Sarasota, FL, 4/21/98)

836. Just as Corpus Christi, Texas, resident Candace McLallen was about to step into the shower one afternoon, she was interrupted by the front doorbell. Looking outside, McLallen saw an unfamiliar car and three equally unfamiliar men. Determined not to let them in, and in a quandry as to what to do next, she was stunned by the loud noise and flying splinters of the front door as it slammed open. McLallen raced to her bedroom, where she kept a .38-cal. revolver for home protection. Once there, she grabbed the gun in one hand, and her one-year-old daughter in the other and let two shots ring out. The home invaders were so scared when they realized their intended "victim" was armed that they fled the scene, leaving the getaway car behind. (Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Corpus Christi, TX, 5/7/98)

837. When a ne'er-do-well entered the Pick-a-Flick video store in Nashville and shoved a gun in the face of employee Gary Williams, the would-be robber didn't realize his life was hanging in the balance. According to Metro Police spokesman Don Aaron, "The clerk knocked the gun away from his face, the suspect shot and the clerk shot." Williams suffered a minor hand wound, but when he retrieved his own gun and fired back, a fatal shot struck the would-be robber's head. Shortly afterward, police arrested another man they suspected of being the getaway driver. (The Tennessean, Nashville, TN, 5/15/98)

838. As she entered her apartment one afternoon, 18-year-old Karen Walkden was followed and confronted by her landlord, with whom she had earlier had a dispute. According to police, Walkden said the man made certain comments led her to believe he was going to sexually assault her. When Walkden told the man to leave, he grabbed her, police said. She then ran into another room and retrieved a shotgun that she had purchased only weeks earlier for home protection. Walkden fired one shot into the man's chest. Within 10 minutes, he was pronounced dead by paramedics. (Daily News, Woodland Hills, CA, 4/24/98)

839. When one of three masked gunmen who had entered a Boynton Beach, Florida, eatery demanded Edward Greifer's wallet, Greifer pulled out his .25-cal. handgun instead, pointed it at the man's neck, and said, "Are you sure you want my wallet?" At that point, according to police, the robbers decided it was time to leave, but still managed to escape with $1,600 and a woman's purse. (Palm Beach Post, Palm Beach, FL, 12/19/97)

840. A masked gun-wielding man who grabbed the arm of an employee one evening at Bruno's Pizza Pie in Tampa, Florida, didn't count on such swift "service" from the restaurant's manager. As the tense situation played out, the manager came to the employee's rescue with a gun and shot the robber, critically wounding him and sending him fleeing. Police found the man collapsed in a vacant field shortly thereafter with a ski mask and gun a short distance away. No charges were filed against the manager. (Tampa Tribune, Tampa, FL 5/5/98)

841. In yet another botched pizza shop robbery, two masked men walked into Cara Mia Pizza in Reading, Pennsylvania, pointed a rifle at the shop's owner and, when they could not open the cash drawer, attempted to make off with the entire cash register. Recognizing the dire nature of the situation, employee Anthony Ferrante, 39, ran to the back of the store, retrieved his licensed 9 mm handgun, and started firing at the bandits. The two men quickly fled the scene. (Reading Eagle/Reading Times, Reading, PA, 5/13/98)

September, 1998

842. When two men attempted to rob 43 year-old auto mechanic Thomas Ellerbee as he walked to his Philadelphia home one night, Ellerbee feigned reaching for his wallet and instead pulled a .380-cal. Sig Sauer pistol. He fired three shots, killing one assailant and injuring the other one, whose relatives later took him to a hospital. According to police, Ellerbee had a permit to carry a concealed firearm. (Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA, 4/21/98)

843. A blast of pepper spray proved an inadequate deterrent for the would-be robber of a Tucson, Arizona, liquor store. The man continued to advance on the clerk, knocking the cash register off the counter. He then reached inside his clothing. That’ when the clerk, fearing that the inept crook had a gun, pulled out her own gun and fired. When police arrived to arrest the man, they found him subdued and in pain from a bullet wound to the buttocks.(Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, AZ, 2/7/98)

844. The sounds of shattering glass woke a 91-year-old disabled woman late one evening in her Charlotte, North Carolina, home. Apparently, an intruder had broken windows in both the bathroom and living room of the house. He was sent packing when the woman reacted by firing three shots from a handgun. Social service workers found the woman immobile but uninjured on the floor of her home the following evening. (The Charlotte Observer, Charlotte, NC, 5/9/98)

845. The tranquility of Mike Merz’ Boca Raton, Florida, home was disrupted one morning by two loud crashes. As Merz went downstairs to investigate, he saw a man racing through his living room. The two men struggled throughout the first floor, eventually holding each other by the throat. Finally, during a lull in the conflict, Merz, who is licensed to carry a firearm, grabbed a telephone and his Sig Sauer semi-automatic pistol. He held the intruder at bay until police arrived. "Somebody had to stop him. The police can’ be everywhere," Merz said. (Sun Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 6/3/98)

846. Two men wearing stocking masks and rubber gloves and armed with a rifle burst into Red True’ country store one night, abruptly bringing to an end the merchant’ 20 years of peaceful trade. After confronting True, the men insisted that he remove his hands from his pockets. True complied, pulling out a .38-cal. revolver and fatally shooting one of the men in the face. The accomplice was captured shortly thereafter. "He was protecting himself," said Northhampton County Sheriff John Wood, who added that True would not be charged in the incident. (Roanoke Herald, Roanoke Rapids NC, 5/8/98)

847. Truck driver Fernando Sancho was asleep in the cab of his 1 8-wheeler, which contained a $250,000 load of shrimp, when someone broke out a window and attempted to climb inside. Sancho fired his Winchester rifle and gave chase, sending three men fleeing in their car. The men, two of whom sustained bullet wounds, were later arrested and charged with felony attempted burglary. Sancho had taken the precaution of arming himself because three previous burglaries had sent his insurance premiums spiraling upward and threatened to bankrupt his business. (San Gabriel Valley Daily Tribune, West Covina, CA, 6/12/88)

848. Two would-be robbers entered Ossie’ Jewelers in Allentown, Pennsylvania, one morning shouting "police emergency" and wildly firing more than 20 rounds of ammunition from their guns. But store owner Vernon Oswald, whose wife was also on the premises, discouraged further mayhem by answering back with six rounds from his .357 Mag. revolver. That was enough to send the thugs fleeing. "The fact that Mr. Oswald shot back probably saved his life and that of his wife," said Lehigh County District Attorney James Martin. (The Mercury, Pottstown, PA, 2/1/98)

849. When a 50-year-old woman heard a noise in her home shortly before 6:30 one morning, she went to the kitchen to i investigate, but not before preparing for the worst. It’ a good thing, since what she discovered was a man working his way through a window above the sink. According to police reports, the woman, armed with a shotgun, approached the would-be burglar and threatened to shoot him. From his somewhat compromised position midway through the window, the intruder quickly saw things from the woman’ perspective and fled the scene. (The Herald-Sun, Durham, NC, 6/1/98)

850. When Lorden Gemaya, 51, walked out of her Southwest Dade, Florida, house one morning, she was confronted by two armed men who forced her back inside. As one of the home invaders began a room-to-room search, Lazaro Veguilla. 39, emerged from one of the rooms and began shooting. Both robbers fled, leaving behind a white Cadillac that had been reported stolen earlier in the month. (Miami Herald, Miami, FL, 4/20/98)

851. A 44-year-old woman was surprised on her birthday by a man who crept into her house shortly after she set the security alarm. When the alarm sounded, the woman soon found herself face to face with the intruder. "You better leave, or I’ going to shoot you," she said. The man disregarded the warning and continued to advance. The woman fired one shot, which sent the man fleeing into the night. (The Scottsdale Tribune, Scottsdale, AZ, 5/16/98)

852. A Fort Worth resident managed to foil the attempted burglary of his home -- remarkably, the second such intrusion in as many weeks -- by surprising a would-be thief with his presence and with a single shot from a .38 cal. handgun. Police said the home was probably targeted because it appeared to be unoccupied. The home invader was frightened by the gunfire and fled out the front door. (The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX, 6/16/98)

October, 1998

853. Jack Overdorff and his wife, Jeri, were unaware of the danger they faced when a man came-to their door inquiring about a motor home they had for sale. After looking over the RV, the man forced Jack Overdorff inside the couple’ house at gunpoint. After the invader tied up the couple and surveyed the house, he cut loose Jeri Overdorff so she could use the bathroom. That’ when a gunfight ensued. Jack Overdorff managed to pull a .45-cal. handgun and shoot the man twice in the chest. Overdorff was wounded in the return fire, and the home invader was fatally wounded. (The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, WA/Coeur d’ ID, 6/6/98)

854. After explaining to a judge how she was beaten, stalked and threatened once with a sword swung just inches from her throat, Des Moines, Iowa’ Kelcey Woolery succeeded in having the court order her abusive ax-boyfriend to stay away. Undeterred, however, the 37-year-old man forced his way into the house where Woolery was staying one morning. Woolery armed herself with a handgun and fired several shots at the man. He was wounded and was later listed in serious condition at a hospital where he was scheduled to be arraigned. No charges were filed against Woolery. (The Des Moines Register, Des Moines, IA, 6/25/98)

855. A tanning salon owner sent two would-be robbers fleeing after they entered his place of business and sprayed him with Mace. The businessman fired his .38-cal. revolver, hitting one of the men in the shoulder. Hospital officials later called police to pick up the man after he arrived for treatment of a gunshot wound. Police said the owner would not be charged in the shooting. (Salem Evening News, Salem, MA, 6/30/98)

856. A Lebanon, Oregon, resident swung into action at around 11 o’ one evening shortly after four uninvited "visitors" arrived at her home. The baseball bat-wielding thugs forced their way through the front door, then went to work on the door of the woman’ bedroom, demanding to be let in. She trained her 9 mm pistol on the door from the other side, fired three shots and sent the home invaders fleeing. (Statesman-Journal, Salem, OR, 7/4/98)

857. When a gun-toting man wearing a stocking on his head entered Mike Nisi’ family-run jewelry store in New Port Richey, Florida, he probably didn’ realize he was about to get the break of his life -- literally. Nisi’ son saw the man pull a revolver out of his waistband just before Nisi, out of sight behind a workbench, and his wife each emerged with their own handguns trained on the man. They had the would-be bandit -- in his late teens or early 20s -- dead to rights, but decided to let him escape after he pleaded, "Don’ shoot me, don’ shoot me!" (The Suncoast News, Port Richey, FL, 7/1/98)

858. Brent Berkebile, Jr., 21, was in for a rude surprise when he opened his front door late one evening. He instantly came face-to-face with an armed man who demanded money. While Berkebile complied, his girlfriend ran out of the house to summon help at the nearby house of Brent Berkebile, Sr., who returned with a shotgun. Berkebile, Sr., fired at the bandit as he attempted to escape from his son’ residence. Police later found the man across the street in some bushes, alive, but with a gunshot injury to the shoulder. "It looks like he did what he had to do and nothing more," said a police spokesman of the elder Berkebile. (Stockton Record, Stockton, CA, 7/3/98)

859. David Ellis, a city councilor for Lynn, Massachusetts, was on his bicycle conducting a midnight crime patrol when he spotted four men harassing an elderly woman in her car. Moving to intervene, Ellis confronted the men, then began to use his cell phone to call for help. The men charged, knocking Ellis off his bike, kicking him in the head and yelling, "Kill him!" Ellis reacted by pulling a .357 Mag. handgun and firing into the group. He then ran to a nearby house and called police. Two of the four were later caught and charged with armed robbery. (Ipswich Chronicle, Ipswich, MA, 7/9/98)

860. After Timothy Abbott noticed an unknown man in the back yard of a neighbor’ residence, he confronted the intruder, who responded by attempting to run away. Abbott then told the man -- ho had been trying to break into the house -- that he had a gun and ordered him to stop. Abbott’ wife called police, who later arrived to find Abbott holding the man at gunpoint. (Keizer Times, Keizer, OR, 6/25/98)

861. Pueblo, Colorado, homeowner Frank Bergamo watched carefully as a would-be burglar doggedly made his way onto Bergamo’ property, attempting to avoid motion detectors and climbing a 6-ft. chain-link fence. When the man finally tried to crawl through the dog door cut into Bergamo’ back entrance, he quickly found himself staring into the business end of Bergamo’ Smith & Wesson .357 Mag. revolver. Bergamo held the intruder for police, and the man was later charged with second-degree burglary. (The Chieftain, Pueblo, CO, 7/14/98)

862. After a woman entered a laundry room at the trailer park where she lived, she was approached by an unfamiliar man who inquired whether she had a boyfriend or husband and suggested he come to her trailer "for a beer." The woman asked to be left alone and left the room, but the man followed. When he called out to her from behind, she turned and the man exposed himself to her. The woman, fearing she could be raped, pulled a handgun from her laundry basket and fired a shot. Police later charged the man with stalking. No charges were filed against the woman, whom police said had a legal right to shoot in self-defense. (Boca Raton News, Boca Raton, FL, 7/28/98)

November/December, 1998

863. A Hayward, California, man was dozing on his couch late one evening when he heard heavy pounding at his front door. After several loud "thumps," the front door flew open in a hail of splinters, and a large man wearing a ski mask attempted to make his way inside. The shaken resident fired several times from his .38-cal. revolver, fatally wounding the homebreaker. An accomplice escaped. Police ruled the shooting justified. (San Jose Mercury News, San Jose, CA, 7/3//98)

864. When a quick-thinking Dover, Delaware, area resident heard a noise coming from his garage early one morning, he instructed his wife to call police and grabbed his shotgun to investigate. The resident startled an intruder and seized the element of surprise to strike the man in the head with the gun’ butt, holding him until police arrived. Police charged the home invader with various counts related to burglary. (News-Journal, Wilmington, DE, 8/5/98)

865. "I don’ like to feel like a victim," said Rachel Jackson of Red Springs, North Carolina, after successfully running off an attacker who broke into her home. Jackson, whose spine bifida confines her to a wheelchair, sprayed the man with tear gas. Then, while the man went to grab money from her purse, she pulled a .25-cal. pistol and fired four shots. After the man was later caught seeking treatment at a hospital, it was learned that he previously had been convicted of robbery, kidnapping and attempted rape. "God gave me the composure I needed to knock the panic and do what I needed to do," Jackson said later. (Fayetteville Observer-Times, Fayetteville, NC, 7/28/98)

866. A 27-year-old Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pizza delivery man was taking an order to what turned out to be a vacant house when he was accosted by a teen who demanded, "Give me the food, give me the money, give me your car, then I am going to shoot you in the head." The delivery man’ response was to pull a semi-automatic handgun -- which he is licensed to carry -- from his car and shoot his attacker. The wounded would-be robber fled, but police later found him hiding in nearby bushes. Police said the delivery man would not be charged in the incident. (Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh, PA, 7/27/98)

867. Xx cream store were cleaning up after closing one evening when two men, both wearing handkerchiefs over part of their faces and one armed with a handgun, appeared at the building’ screen door. After demanding that the wife open the door, the nearest man forced the door open. The wife yelled for her husband, who pulled a derringer from his pocket and fired two rounds, sending both men fleeing. (Parma Sun Post, Parma, OH, 7/30/98)

868. Trucker Tom Baker, of Salem, Indiana, was watching the television news when he learned that a mental patient, who allegedly had viciously stabbed an elderly man to death before being committed, was on the loose. Later that day, while fueling his rig for a haul, Baker noticed a suspicious man nearby who soon was standing in front of his truck. The man looked familiar to Baker, who quickly realized who the suspicious character was. "My God. That’ that guy that killed that man," thought Baker. When the man stepped up onto the side of the truck and said he wanted to go to Dallas, Baker produced his gun and "told him to get off my truck." As the man began to walk away, Baker went inside the truckstop and called the local sheriff’ department. The man was in custody shortly thereafter. "I’ glad I had it with me," said Baker of his firearm. (Salem Leader-Democrat, Salem, IN, 8/4/98)

869. An argument between a man and a woman inside a Louisiana residence turned violent when the man allegedly doused the victim with gasoline and struck matches in an attempt to set her on fire. The woman swept up her two young children and fled the house, but was pursued by her tormentor. Once at her car, she retrieved a handgun and held off the man in order to make good her and her children’ escape. (The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, LA, 8/4/98)

870. When a Montclair, Virginia, man walked out of his house late one evening, he noticed two people near a car that had just been burglarized. The man returned to his house and grabbed a cellular telephone and a handgun. Back outside, he noticed the individuals breaking into yet another car, according to Prince William County Police Sgt. Kim Chinn. The man walked toward the suspects and ordered them onto the ground. One fled, but the other stayed put until police arrived. (Potomac News, Woodbridge, VA, 8/6/98)

871. Betty Joyce Lambeth was home one afternoon when she heard the sound of breaking glass coming from the door between her carport and kitchen. What happened next was even scarier: An arm reached through the opening and began to unlock the door. Lambeth retrieved her 9 mm Smith & Wesson handgun and fired one shot through the door, sending the arm -- and the suspect -- fleeing. (The Courier-Tribune, Ashboro, NC, 8/2798)

872. Tony Marshall’s Cincinnati computer store had already been robbed twice when yet a third incident occurred. A suspicious man wandered in asking about hardware Marshall said he didn’ carry. Marshall, who sensed the man had evil intentions, went to the back of the store where he kept a .38-cal. handgun. As Marshall came back to the front of the store, the man swiped a laptop computer and took off running. The armed Marshall gave chase and, along with a customer, cornered the man not far away. "I’ worked too hard to get what I have," said Marshall. Police said the storeowner committed no crime in apprehending the man. (The Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati, OH, 7/17/98)

January, 1999

873. A Tacoma, Washington, man arriving home late one night opened his garage door and was confronted by a group of burglars already inside. C)ne burglar hurled a pipe wrench at the homeowner, striking his vehicle. The man responded by letting fly a shot from his .357 Mag. handgun, which sent the hoodlums fleeing. (The News Tribune, Tacoma, WA, 9/19/98)

874. After one of three men apparently thought that Steven J. Serrao of Bend, Oregon, was staring at him at a popular market, the group followed Serrao to his car nearby and began to punch him in the face through the open windows. Serrao produced a .380-cal. handgun, for which he has a permit, and fired at his attackers, wounding one. All three men ran, but were later apprehended by police. (The Bulletin, Bend, OR, 9/2/98)

875. Don Mosely and his wife, Jane, were inside their Little Rock, Arkansas, home when he was alerted to a sound at the front door. Expecting to see his brother, who had left moments earlier, Mosely opened the door and found himself facing a 43-year-old wearing a black hood over his head, wielding a .22 rifle and shouting "Gimme your keys!" Seconds later, Mosely was shot. After playing dead, he retrieved a gun and followed the intruder’ path to the back bedroom where Jane Mosely had dialed 911 and readied her .32 cal. handgun. The couple opened fire on the attacker, inflicting fatal wounds and ending the rampage. A second suspect was quickly captured while a third was being sought by police. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock, AR, 9/13/98)

876. A 36-year-old Louisiana man was appropriately charged with "simple burglary" and "simple trespassing" after he broke into a home and attempted to make off with an antique cedar armoire, according to authorities. What the man hadn’ counted on was an alert neighbor who telephoned sheriff’ deputies and then used a gun to hold him until they could arrive and make the arrest. (The Advertiser, Lafayette, LA, 9/15/98)

877. Indianapolis gun shop owner Joe Montgomery didn’ have much time to react when two men carrying knives entered his business and forced him into a restroom in back. Once there, however, Montgomery was able to retrieve a .357 Mag. handgun he had set aside for just such an emergency. He fired several shots, killing both men. Police arrived to find both bandits lying on the floor with stolen guns tucked into their waistbands. "It appears that it is a pretty classic self-defense case," said police spokesman Lt. Tim Horty. (Journal and Courier, Lafayette, IN, 9/4/98)

878. A Maryland homeowner was leaving home for work early one morning when someone leaped from the roof and began choking him. The resident, who according to police had begun arming himself in response to a neighborhood crime wave, was able to grab his .32-cal. gun and fire a shot, killing the attacker who was armed with a knife. (Prince George’ Journal, Lanham, MD, 9/22/98)

879. A Tillicum, Washington, store was the scene of a brutal assault one morning when a man walked in, bought a cup of coffee then threw it in the owner’ face. Not stopping there, the man proceeded to hit the store owner over the head with a rock-filled pillowcase, knocking him to the floor. When the man began to rifle the cash drawer, the owner came back up with a gun and fired, scaring off the attacker who was caught soon afterward. (The News Tribune, Tacoma, WA, 10/6/98)

880. When a would-be burglar armed with a handgun entered a Waialua, Hawaii, residence intent on robbing the owner, he initially received cooperation -- or so he thought. The resident told the home invader that the money was in a backpack. Rather than booty, however, the burglar received a boom when the homeowner pulled a 9 mm handgun and fired two shots. After jumping from a second-floor window, the burglar ran, trailing blood and dropping his own gun. (West Hawaii Today, Kailua, HI, 918/98)

881. After being robbed tour times last year and defending his property with lethal force on one occasion, Orlando, Florida, convenience store owner Nam Chun once again found himself in deadly peril. Two gunmen burst into his store and demanded, "Give me your money," to which Chun responded with several shots from his handgun. One man fell dead of his wounds outside the store while another escaped. (St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, FL, 7/20/98)

882. According to police, a Lancaster. California, man became enraged when a friend of his wife told him she didn’ know where his wife was. Police said the man reacted by stabbing the woman and two other people in the same neighborhood. He was finally stopped by another neighbor who fired once from a shotgun, hitting the man in the abdomen. (Daily News, Los Angeles CA, 9/8/98)

883. Jim Gentry’ 7-year-old grandson had been playing in the yard at his grandparents’ Athena, Oregon, home -- located in an isolated canyon setting -- only an hour before the trouble began. A cougar had waited until dusk, then attacked the family’ dog. "He got pretty chewed up," said Gentry of the pet, which lived thanks to his owner’ quick action and one shot from a .410-bore shotgun. (The Herald, Everett, WA, 10/4/98)

884. Displaying a persistence that defied common sense, a man with a history of run-ins with the law returned yet a third time in as many days to rob the same Ventura, California, residence, according to police. This time, however, would be different. When resident William "Billy" Stubbert opened the door, his alleged attacker advanced aggressively. Stubbert fired twice, hitting the man in the arm and hip. "It’ apparent these guys are clear-cut victims," said Ventura Police Sgt. Bob Anderson of Stubbert and his roommates. (Ventura County Star, Ventura, CA, 9/15/98)

February, 1999

885. Out of kindness, 84-year-old E.H. Brown of Savannah, Georgia, allowed a stranger to use his telephone one Thursday afternoon. The elderly homeowner became suspicious, however, when the man asked to use the bathroom just as another man came up onto the deck of the house. When one of the intruders knocked down Brown's 78year-old wife, Brown, who had armed himself with a.38-cal. revolver, pointed and fired. One man fled, and Brown held the other one until police arrived. "He did a hell of a job," said a local police lieutenant of Brown's heroic actions. (Savannah Morning News, Savannah, GA, 11/6/98)

886. Pharmacy owner Richard Bromberg, 60, was in the habit of catching up on paperwork in his Hartford, Connecticut, store on Sunday afternoons, but this time would be different. Although it was obvious to nearby residents that Bromberg was working inside his store, a would-be thief, apparently oblivious to the proprietor's presence, brazenly broke out the store's plate-glass door and crawled over broken glass to get inside. Bromberg confronted the man and ordered him to stop, but the man continued to advance. That's when Bromberg fired, striking the man in the head and sending him to the hospital in critical condition. (The Hartford Courant, Hartford, CT, 10/26/98)

887. Apparently unsatisfied with wilder fare, a male black bear decided one night to look for more appealing cuisine in the dining room of Brien Boggs' Cumberland, Washington, house. Boggs awoke to the loud noise of the bear opening a sliding-glass door, He quickly armed himself with a shotgun and made his way toward the animal. When 'he let fly a blast from about 10 feet away, the potentially dangerous, 80-pound animal fell dead. "As habitat is lost and the bear population grows, people need to be careful," said state Fish and Wildlife Officer Mike Frame. (The Seattle Times, Seattle, WA, 10/19/98)

888. When Scranton, Pennsylvania, cab, driver Thomas Ristics was dispatched to pick up a second fare, the man already on board put a pistol to his head and said, "You're not stopping anywhere." Fearing for his life, Ristics pulled the .357 Mag. revolver he is licensed to carry and fired three times, wounding the man. Ristics then risked driving, the wrong way on a one-way street to seek help for his assailant at a nearby medical center, (The Tribune, Scranton, PA, 11/2/98)

889. As she readied herself for work early one morning, Mary Schrader board terror-stricken shouts emanating from the driveway of her East Lake, Florida, home. She, too, was filled with terror when she realized the voice was that of her husband, Dennis, who was preparing to get into his car and leave for the day. Two men wearing masks and clad in black clothing had accosted and pisitol-whipped Schrader then attempted to, enter the couple's home by using him " a shield. By then, Mary Schrader was ready, She set off the alarm and armed herself with a .22-cal. rifle, finally forcing the intruders to stand down and flee. Fresh in the Schraders' minds was a recent incident in which a local couple had been robbed, kidnapped and looked in the trunk of their car. (St. Petersburg Times, St.Petersburg, FL, 10/31/98)

890. Djuana M. Simpson was at home on the east side of Akron, Ohio, when an attacker broke in. It was a situation that felt all too familiar because, incredibly, the attacker was the same, man who had invaded Simpson's home once before. This time, ~ as he threatened to kill Simpson, she fought back in defense of her life, firing at the man and, sending him to a local hospital with a gunshot wound Police said that even while being treated the man vowed to kill his victim when he got out of jail. (Akron Beacon Journal, ,Akron, OH, 10/31/98)

891. A 60-year-old resident of Chicago's northwest side was confronted with a terrifying sight: a knife-wielding intruder inside the 'house. The quick thinking senior homeowner answered the threat to his life with four shots from a .22-cal. pistol, striking down his attacker and sending him to a hospital with gunshot wounds to the head and thigh, Police said the homeowner would not be charged because he acted in self-defense. (Chicago Tribune, Chicago, IL, 10/20/98)

892. A desperate would-be robber had made nefarious advances toward three victims in Berkeley, California, during a crime spree that became progressively violent. According to Berkeley police Sgt. Mike Stafstrom, "He kept running west, robbing anybody he ran into-then he ran into the wrong guy," That "wrong guy" managed to retrieve a .45-cal. handgun from his nearby home. When the two exchanged gunfire, the ne'er-do-well was shot in the leg'. (San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco, CA, 10/17/98)

893. Richard and Yvonne Wilson were making dinner at home one Sunday when a 6-foot, 7-inch, 200-pound man walked in, brandished a gun and ordered the couple upstairs, He then proceeded to tie up the couple with bed sheets and began to rummage through the house. It wasnŐt long before the home invader returned to his captives; but in the interim, Richard Wilson had time to untie his bonds and arm himself with a gun he keeps for protection, Wilson fired when the man approached the door, sending him fleeing. (Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, CA, 10/20/98)

894. An Olympia, Washington, resident, along with his wife and their two children, was asleep at 2 a.m. one Saturday when a burglar forced open the kitchen door of their home. Roused by the noise, the homeowner armed himself with a 20ga. shotgun and confronted the trespasser, warning him to leave. When the warning went unheeded and the man advanced toward him, the homeowner shot once, killing the intruder. (The News Tribune Tacoma, WA, I I/l/98)

March, 1999

895. Barbara Thompson was at home in bed one Friday night when she heard someone breaking down her back door. The Hoffman, North Carolina, woman thought it might be a former boyfriend who was under a court order to stay away for earlier assaulting her and breaking her arm. As the attacker made his way inside, he broke down Thompson's bedroom door and fired at her with a shotgun. Thompson, whose 15-year-old daughter was in another bedroom of the house, fired back with five shots from a .38-cal. revolver, stopping her tormentor dead in his tracks. (The Pilot, Southern Pines, NC, 12/17/98)

896. The proprietor of Joe's Carryout in Van Buren, Ohio, had been the victim of an attempted robbery before-in fact, only 10 days earlier. In that incident, Joe Tooley's stalling tactics, and the unexpected presence of his wife, caused the two masked, armed bandits to flee. This time, a man walked in and told Tooley to fill a bag with cash. When Tooley asked why he should, the bandit replied that he would shoot Tooley if he didn't comply. Unable to open one of his registers, Tooley took an antique display gun off the wall and told the robber he would be shot instead. Apparently unwilling to take the risk, the man fled on foot-without any money. (The Times-Reporter, New Philadelphia, OH, 11/21/98)

897. A friendly outing on the links at a DeKalb County, Georgia, country club turned dangerous one afternoon when would-be robbers struck a golfing foursome traveling in three carts on a wooded trail. Remarkably, the incident wasn't entirely unusual. Robbers had plagued the course for months, and golfers had been warned. This time, however, one golfer was prepared. Three robbers, two of them armed, forced occupants of the first cart onto the ground and began rifling their pockets, As the driver of the third cart rounded a comer and saw what was happening, he pulled a gun from his golf bag, firing a shot that struck one of the ne'er-do-wells in the face, The wounded juvenile was sent to a local hospital in critical condition, and police said they planned to charge him and his two cohorts with attempted robbery, kidnapping, and aggravated assault. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta; GA, 12/11/98)

898. When Michelle Sheppard emerged from an office building after conducting business one afternoon, she was confronted by her estranged husband who was angry and armed with both a knife and a gun, according to sheriff's office spokesman Col. Bob Garner. The knife attack that ensued left the New Orleans woman with stab wounds to the forehead, back, neck and side. As she attempted to escape, Sheppard ran into the parking lot of a nearby business where she attracted the attention of a patron who witnessed her plight and decided to help. The Good Samaritan used a gun he was licensed to carry to hold Sheppard's attacker until police deputies arrived. (New Orleans Times -Picayune, New Orleans, LA, 10/31/98)

899. A number of unsolved burglaries and a subsequent string of sexual assaults near the University of North Carolina's Charlotte campus had female residents there fearing for their safety. It was that heightened sense of awareness, and an armed citizen, that helped prevent yet another attack. Twenty- six - year- old Adrian Rodricka Cathey entered a woman's apartment early one morning and assaulted her with a knife. This time, however, the intended victim fought back, retrieving a firearm and shooting her assailant. Cathey, who had a record of arrests on charges of rape and attempted murder, was later found dead in a parking lot. (The Charlotte Observer, Charlotte, NC, 11/18/98)

900. As Bruno Kosinski, 81, of Chicago's Ukranian Village was getting into his car before dawn one morning, two teenagers attacked him with pepper spray, knocked him down, stole his wallet and threatened to kill him, according to police. That's when the 5-foot, 5-inch Kosinski, fought back, rising to his feet and firing once with a handgun he carries in his pants for protection. The shot struck a male attacker in the neck and sent a female accomplice fleeing, Though he did, not have a carry permit, Kosinski was not charged with any crime. "He had a registered weapon and used it to defend himself against these gangbangers," said a police spokesman. (ChicagoTribune, Chicago, IL, 12/9/98)

901. When four armed robbers set their sights on Frank's & Sons Jewelers near, Houston one morning, they hadn't planned on becoming targets themselves. Two of the men jumped over the store's glass counters while a third guarded the door and a fourth remained in a getaway car. Once inside, one of the men began filling backpacks with jewelry while the other ordered store owner Donnie Galvin to open the safe, Galvin complied, but rather than withdrawing jewels or cash, he drew a .357 Mag. revolver. He shot one robber and then used that man's gun to shoot the other robber, saving his own life and those of his two employees. Both men died of their wounds while their accomplices ,made good their escape. (Houston Chronicle, Houston, TX, 12124/98)

902. Lori Bowers' beagle, Pete, began barking shortly after noon one day while his owner slept in her Harney, Maryland, home following her night job. When Bowers awoke, she heard noises other than those made by her pet. Going to investigate, she saw a man in her living room attempting to disconnect her videocassette recorder. "I own a .45 pistol, and back in my bedroom I cocked [it] and he heard [the sound ]. The man, realizing the homeowner was about to get the drop on him, took off so fast he ran right through Bowers' screen door. Police later arrested two men driving a truck-full of stolen property-that matched the description given to them by Bowers. (Carroll County Times, Westminster, MD, 9/11/98)

April, 1999

903. Kenneth Thornton was beaten with a tire iron and robbed at his business, located in a high crime area of Memphis, Tennessee, in June 1998. After that traumatic incident, he had taken steps to ensure that he would not be victimized again. Unfortunately, when he buzzed two men in at his equipment supply company one December afternoon, he didn't recognize that one was an assailant from the earlier incident. The mistake could have cost Thornton his life, but when the second attack began, he grabbed his handgun and fatally shot one of the intruders. The other man fled on foot. (The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN, 12/1/98)

904. When 62-year-old Perry Johns of Pensacola, Florida, answered a knock at his front door one morning, he found a female acquaintance asking to use his telephone. Once inside, the woman asked Johns for money, a request she reinforced by pulling a gun. The scene sent a friend of Johns, who had been visiting, running from the house to summon police. After briefly chasing him, the woman went back inside and ordered Johns to drive her and a companion to a bank money machine to make a withdrawal. But as they stepped outside, Johns grabbed a gun from behind the door and fired several shots, wounding and sending the woman to the ground. Like her companion, she escaped, but was captured shortly thereafter to face charges of home-invasion robbery, aggravated assault with a firearm and kidnaping. (Pensacola News Journal, Pensacola, FL, 1/9/99)

905. Jerry and Mary Lou Krause had established a plan to protect themselves in case anyone ever tried to invade their Swanton Township, Ohio, home. As it turned out, they desperately needed that plan one evening when two men came to the door asking for directions. As Jerry Krause stood inside talking with the first man, Mary Lou Krause followed the plan and fetched her .22-cal. handgun from the bedroom. When she returned, a second man-this one armed with a gun-was helping the first man force his way inside. In the exchange of gunfire that followed, Mary Lou Krause was grazed and the two intruders were sent hightailing into the night . She was absolutely correct in defending herself," said Lucus County Sheriff Jim Talb. (The Blade, Toledo, OH, 12/28/98)

906. While a lookout lay in wait outside a Kansas City, Missouri, residence, his two accomplices set about robbing the homeowner inside. After apparently succeeding in their dastardly deed, the pair exited the home to make good their escape. Much to his dismay, however, the "outside" man soon noticed the homeowner was armed and had taken up the pursuit. An exchange of gunfire between the homeowner and the three armed crooks sent the two invaders fleeing into the night while the lookout staggered to a nearby house with wounds that later proved fatal. (Kansas City Star, Kansas City, MO, 12/24/98)

907. South Omaha resident Gregory W. Webster was in his basement late one evening when three men wearing ski masks and brandishing guns broke in. "A short scuffle ensued," said police Sgt. Joe Mackevicius. "The people breaking in drew guns and possibly fired shots." Webster, who was wounded in the left shoulder, fought back, firing shots from his own gun. Not confident that his efforts were effective, he reportedly told police that his shots had struck only one assailant. Minutes later, however, police apprehended one wounded man in a vehicle fitting witness descriptions, and another wounded man turned himself in at a local hospital emergency room. (Omaha World-Herald, Omaha, NE, 1/28/99)

908. After suffering three robberies in only eight days at their Douglas County, Georgia, store, Randy and Barbara Rogers decided to take action. The couple began taking turns guarding the store at night, camping out of sight on the floor. While on watch early one morning, Randy Rogers-armed with his wife's .38 Spl. revolver-was ready when two men smashed out the glass front door and came inside. Rogers surprised the pair and fired his gun, wounding one of the men in the buttocks and sending both fleeing. Police quickly captured both men and charged them with burglary. (Douglas County Sentinel, Douglas County, GA, 1/14/99)

909. Business owner Mark E. Duncan was at work in his Holton Package Store in Holton, Indiana, one afternoon when two men walked in and announced, "We're here to take your money." As one man stood at the door with a hand in his pocket "as to portray having a weapon," according to the police report, the other approached Duncan. That's when the store owner turned the tables on the would-be crooks. Reaching behind the counter, Duncan retrieved a handgun he kept there for exactly such situations. "The two men, seeing the owner obtain the gun, ran out the door," states the report flatly. (HeraldTribune, Batesville, IN, 1/6/99)

910. Residents of a Burnsville, Minnesota, house were rocked awake shortly after I a.m. by a man who repeatedly rang the front door bell and then kicked in the door and came inside. After a male resident armed himself and closed the bedroom door, the man pushed it open and punched the resident in the nose. As the two wrestled, the intruder proclaimed, "I don't care if I die." Soon he was going after the female resident of the house. The attacker began choking her and then pushed her head through a closed window, breaking out the glass. When her tormentor came at the woman again, the male resident fired a shot, hitting the intruder in the leg. The wounded homeinvader left to seek help at a hospital where he was arrested and charged with first-degree burglary. (Burnsville/Lakeville Sun-Current, Bloomington, MN, 12/9/98)

May, 1999

xx

June, 1999

911. An 82 year-old retired Air Force pilot and his wife of 59 years were awakened early one morning to the sounds of someone rummaging through their Oakland, California, area home. When an intruder turned on the homeowner, he was met with a single, fatal shot from the same pistol that had seen the veteran through World Ear II. Korea, and Vietnam. (Oakland Tribune, Oakland, CA, 3-27-99)

912. A 14-year-old Plymouth Township, Wisconsin, girl was getting prepared for school one morning when she noticed a man peering inside through a bedroom window. The frightened girl, whose parents had already left for work, responded by retrieving a double barrelled shotgun. That image was apparently enough to send the man fleeing. The girl's father had set out both the shotgun and pistol for exactly such a contingency after she reported seeing the same man the previous day. (The Janesville Gazette, Janesville, WI, 3-24-99)

913. When two armed bandits set out to carjack a man in Philadelphia early one morning, one was permanently relieved of his ability to cause such mayhem in the future. The intended victim, who had a permit to carry a gun, was behind the wheel of his minivan when the assailants jumped out of their own vehicle and tried to take control. The man exchanged gunfire with the rouges, sending one fleeing ant the other to a nearby hospital with fatal wounds. (Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia, PA, 2-8-99)

914. The day after Amy Sash's former boyfriend was released from jail, where he had been held on a charge of assaulting her, she purchased a colt revolver for protection. The decision proved a fatal one when, only a few days later, the man-who under order by court to have no contact with her- kicked in the door of Sash's Des Moines, Iowa, residence. After warning him, Sash fired, sending her attacker to the hospital in serious condition. "[Y]ou have to protect yourself at some point," said Sash. (Des Moines Register, Des Moines, IA, 2-26-99)

915. Dave Mezzanotte was at his Fairmont, West Virginia, home with a sleeping infant one Tuesday night when he heard noises and went to investigate. According to police, Mezzanotte said an intruder attacked and beat him. Retreating to another room, Mezzanotte retrieved his .45 cal. handgun and fired at the man, who quickly fled and sought medical help. Police later charged the intruder with one count of aggravated robbery. (Times West Virginian, Fairmont, WV, 12-24-98)

916. Since childhood, Rory Vertigan had been interested in becoming a police officer. One friday afternoon while driving back from running an errand near the Phoenix, Arizona, apartment complex he managed, his mettle for such work was put to the ultimate test. As Vertigan- who worked as a night-time security guard- drove along, he was horrified to witness one of Phoenix's finest come under gunfire on the street immediately ahead. Officer Mark Atkinson had been following a vehicle with three men inside when the car suddenly came to a halt. The driver jumped out, drew a handgun and fired as Atkinson attempted to pull around out of danger. Tragically, the young officer was fatally struck by two bullets. As Atkinson's assailants attempted to flee, Vertigan gave chase, but backed off when their vehicle stopped again to challenge him. In the ensuing gun battle, Vertigan fired the Glock handgun he is licensed to carry from his car, wounding one of the passengers and then tackling him to the ground when he tried to escape on foot. "That individual is one of the true heroes of our time," Police Chief Harold Hurtt said of Vertigan who, at an emotional ceremony days later, was awarded a certificate of heroism, a check for $500 and a certificate to buy a new Glock pistol to replace the one police impounded. (The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, AZ, 3-28-99).

917. Two desperate fugitives were on the loose in Enfield, North Carolina, after allegedly robbing a convenience store and killing Police Sgt. Tonya Gillikin. Thankfully, residents Charles and Hazel Rives were prepared. The elderly couple answered their doorbell at 5:40 one morning to a man who said that his car broke down and that he would like to come inside. Charles Rives, who had a .25 cal. pistol in his pocket, simply said "no," but moments later, the man tried to force his way in. When Rives' gun failed to fire, his wife stepped into view with a .22 cal. revolver and warned, "I'll blow you away you @$&^))_*@@er.) That was enough to cause the intruder and his accomplice to flee through the couple's garden, leaving a trail for police. Five-and-a-half hours later, the pair was in custody. (Daily Herald, Roanoke Rapids, NC, 3-16-99)

918. Tramona Crawford of Winston Salem, North Carolina, was on the telephone with her cousin early one Thursday when a cold, shivering man appeared at her front door. When the man told crawford his car had broken down and he needed to burrow some jumper cables, she hesitantly left to retrieve them, but also grabbed her gun from beneath the bed. Seconds later, the man-who had been released from prison two days earlier-burst through the door with a knife at the ready. Crawford shot in self-defense, killing the home invader. "I keep banging my head against the wall and asking myself, 'What if my instincts hadn't gone off?" she later said of the drama. (The Charlotte Observer, Charlotte, NC, 3-13-99)

July, 1999

919. James Rowlan, 70, of Oklahoma City Oklahoma, had just finished taking shower one evening and his wife, Fannie, was following suit when someone rang the front doorbell and knocked loudly. Rowlan went to check and met a youth poking his head inside to survey the home and asking if "Mike" lived there. Before Rowlan had time to let his suspicion turn to warnings, the armed youth and an accomplice broke the storm door lock and barged inside. That's when Rowlan instructed his wife to barricade herself in the bathroom and pretend to watch helplessly as the robbers ransacked the couple's bedroom. Little did they know, Rowlan had inched toward the night stand where he kept a gun for protection. " Their gun was much smaller. So they were scared off by my husband's gun," said Fannie Rowlan after the ordeal. The tow thugs "took off so fast they broke the chain on the storm door," said James Rowlan. ( The Daily Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, OK, 3-26-99)

920. Placerville, California, market owner J.B. Smith had closed his store for the day one Saturday when he heard a s****ing at the back door. Smith watched watched as a man entered and grabbed a handful of money from the cash register. Surprising the robber, Smith, with his semi-automatic pistol in hand, told him to freeze. The incident would have been the sixth burglary at the store, but smith had halted it by camping out for more than a week in an effort to catch the thief. (Mountain Democrat, Placerville, CA, 3-11-99)

921. Florida neighbors Art Terry and Donald Thweatt, both 53, knew they couldn't beat the three suspected auto thieves in a foot race, but both had Glock pistols and were confident they could handle a violent confrontation. While talking outside their homes before midnight one Tuesday, they responded to the sound of an alarm at a nearby car lot. After giving chase, the pair confronted three boys who had hopped in a stolen van. When police arrived, the suspects were "laid out like dogs," said Terry. The men planned to donate a $100.00 reward in the case to the NRA. (The Tampa Tribune, Tampa, FL 4-27-99)

922. Three people armed with a handgun entered the rural, south central Kentucky home of Harold Clontz early one morning and proceeded to club the 55-year-old, duct-tape his hands, and steal several hundred dollars from his wallet, according to authorities. what the trio hadn't counted on was that another man who lived with Clontz was in a back bedroom at the time of the invasion, and was himself armed- with a 12-ga. shotgun. "He heard the commotion and came out and commenced firing," said Laurel county Sheriff Gene Hollon. When the smoke cleared, one of the intruders was dead, another was in critical condition, and the third fled only to be caught by the police later the same day. (Lexington Herald Leader, Lexington, KY, 4-20-99)

923. Lela Phillips, 66, was awakened by a noise in her Michigan home one evening and moments later was confronted by a 20-year-old man who informed her, "this [is] a stickup," according to Benton Township Detective Delmar Lange. "[She] told him 'damn right it's a stickup' and pointed [a handgun] at him," said Lange. The man turned and fled immediately. It turns out that the man had come to Phillips' home twice that same day and, on the second occasion, had asked to use her phone-a courtesy she denied him because of her suspicion. (The Herals-Palladium, St.Joseph. MI, 4-21-99)

924. For reasons that may never be known, John Michael Levi turned on his White Post, Virginia, neighbors one day in a rampage that jeopardized the lives of a couple and their three children. The mother had already compiled for police a 19-page typed log chronicling Levi's offenses, which included minor acts of vandalism. the situation instantly turned grave, however, one Sunday night when Levi entered the family's home with a sawed-off shotgun and a pistol threatening to kill everyone. As the mother and two daughters ran upstairs to escape on the roof, the 15-year-old son and his father scrambled to load the family gun. Levi pursued the father up the stairs, reportedly declaring, "It's prime time to die." The father finally ended the confrontation with a deadly shot of his own. (The Winchester Star, Winchester, VA, 3-2-99)

925. When a gun-wielding man entered a Phillips 66 store in South Bend, Indiana, intent on robbing the establishment, he became frustrated and fled empty-handed after failing to get the cash drawer open. Unfortunately, the clerk he assaulted in the process was unaware that the "gun" was a water pistol. A nearby armed citizen who saw the entire incident unfold grabbed his real, licensed handgun and gave chase down an alley, catching the perpetrator and holding him until police arrived. (South Bend Tribune, South Bend, IN, 3-3-99)

926. A disabled man and a legally blind woman were in their Kalama, Washington, home one Friday afternoon when a 31-year-old man who was visiting friends next door forced his way into their residence and jerked the man to the floor. About to punch his helpless victim, the invader was distracted by the woman who pulled on him from behind. As the suspect slammed the woman against a wall, the other resident managed to grab a gun and force his assailant out of the home. The perpetrator later reportedly admitted to the crime and could not give reason for his actions other than to say he'd had a bad couple of days. (The Daily News, Longview, WA, 5-1-99)

August, 1999

927. A Randolph County, Illinois, farmer became a warrior in the fight against illicit drugs when he interrupted two trespassers attempting to steal a common liquid fertilizer from his property. According to authorities, the pair intended to use the anhydrous ammonia to manufacture meth amphetamine. Their dastardly plans were halted, however, when the farmer confronted them with a shotgun holding them them until police arrived. ( The southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, Il, 4-24-99 )

928. The robber fraternity apparently has failed to spread the word among its members that hitting the Bank of Clarkson, Kentucky, when banker Clyde Bratcher is on duty can be a fatal mistake. Bratcher was in his office one Tuesday afternoon when a man vaulted over the bank counter and declared, "This is a robbery!" Bratcher charged to the rescue, firing twice with a handgun whose shots fatally struck the bandit in the chest. He had protected the bank's assets in a similar manner only three years earlier by dispatching yet another would-be crook who walked into the bank wielding a rifle and wearing a stocking on his head. Bratchers grandfather- also named Clyde Bratcher- was a bank president when in 1958, he ran off three bandits, pointing at them with a gun whose 35-year-old cartridges, failed to fire. ( The Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY, 6-3-99 )

929. A Heathrow, Florida, woman had endured an unwanted advances and spying from a greens keeper at her local golf course for more than six months. In a final invasion of his victim's privacy, the stalker, armed with a handgun and a rope, found his way into the woman's home. After ordering her husband out of the way, the man confronted the woman, pushing her into a back bedroom and letting loose a volley of five shots. The wounded victim was not about to go easily, however, and fired back with one shot from a .38 caliber revolver she had bought for protection. The shot proved fatal to the 50-year-old man whose body was found next to a backpack full of pornography. The stalker was also under indictment for five counts of lewd and lascivious assault on a child. ( Boston Herald, Boston, MA, 5-11-99 )

930. Jeff Grenfell was playing a video game in his Billings, Montana, home with his neighbor's son one Saturday evening when two men rang the doorbell. When Grenfell answered, the pair pushed their way inside and began physically attacking Grenfell throughout the house. Backed against a workbench, Grenfell managed to get his hand on a screwdriver with which he stabbed one of the invaders. Both men fled, where upon a neighbor, waiting with a .44 Mag. handgun, detained them until police arrived. ( Billings Gazette, Billings, MT, 12-13-98 )

931. Steve Webb, owner of Beaverdam Quick Stop county store in Hanover, Virginia, was faced with every Proprietor's nightmare: an armed, would be crook demanding money from the till. This time, though, the bad guy was quickly outmatched. Webb's .45-cal. semi-automatic easily trumped the ne'er-do-well's squirt pistol. When police arrived, they found the suspect-squirt gun nearby-relieved to see them. "I don't think he blinked the whole ten minutes he was on the floor," while being held at bay, said Pat Webb, the store owner's wife. ( The Courier Tribune, Ashboro, NC, 4-12-99 )

932. Jerry Pommer of Canton, South Dakota, was shocked to find that his herd of medical research had been attacked by a neighbor's Dobermans. "There was blood, death, and injuries. "The dogs kept on killing while I stood there," he said. Running to his house, Pommer was able to retrieve a 12-ga. shotgun and halt the vicious attack by delivering a deadly shot to one dog and injuring another before it escaped. The second dog was later taken by its owner to a veterinarian and put to sleep. The dogs had killed 10 sheep and injured 28 more. "I can bury sheep, but I had to bury a child, that would be hard to deal with," Pommer said. ( Argus Leader, Sioux Falls, SD, 5-5-99 )

933. The manager of a Farmington Hills Michigan, motel and his fiancee were in a bedroom early one sunday morning when a man came inside, threatened the pair, and attacked the woman with a hammer. The manager was able to halt the potentially deadly attack with three shots from a .357 Mag, sending the intruder ( through a wall or two, and then )signed TT to the hospital in critical condition. ( The Detroit News, Detroit, MI, 5-10-99)

934. When 71-year-old Edith Ledbetter woke to noises in her Slapout, Alabama, home early one Saturday, she retrieved a .410-bore shotgun from her bedroom and fired once at an intruder. The Shot found its target, striking the man in the neck and ending the home invasion. "This is one lady who decided to not be a victim," said Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin. "She was protecting herself and her home." ( Montgomery Advertiser, Montgomery, AL, 5-12-99 )

935. Titus Davis and his family arrived back at their Fayetteville, North Carolina, home one Monday night to find a broken window pane in the front door and, inside, a VCR, television set, and other items piled on the living room floor. Resolving to investigate, Davis retrieved a rifle from the trunk of his car and entered the house. "When he opened the closet door, the suspect lunged at him, and [Davis] started shooting," said Cumberland County Sheriff's Capt. Freddy Johnson. Davis' shots fatally wounded his attacker, who had been armed with a handgun. ( Times-News, Burlington, NC, 5-19-99 )

September, 1999

936. David Zamora found himself staving off more than a hunger attack late one evening as he sat behind the wheel of his Camaro in a Phoenix fastfood drivethrough. When a man walked up and demanded that Zamora turn the car over to him, Zamora responded with a shot from his handgun, critically injuring the wouldbe car jacker. Three of the man's companions were arrested nearby. (The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, AZ, 6/5/99)

937. The tranquility of poet Carlton Eddy Breitenstein's Providence, Rhode Island, home was shattered one evening when an intruder suddenly appeared on the second floor. The 83yearold Breitenstein defended himself with a gun, sending the man fleeing. Police later caught the suspect who sustained a gunshot wound to the chest that required hospitalization. Breitenstein had been assaulted in his house the previous afternoon and had been the victim of a break in little more than a week earlier. ( Providence Journal, Providence, RI, 6/18/99)

938. Ranch hand Javier Garcia had reportedly been "acting weird" after returning from a weeklong vacation from his job at the K4 Ranch near Prescott, Arizona. Ranch owner Linda Kieckhefer and her father, Chuck Sheppard, would soon find out just how far askew Garcia's mind had gone. As the pair made their way from the main house to the barn one Friday evening, Garcia burst out of his quarters brandishing a large knife. In the ensuing attack, Kieckhefer and Sheppard both suffered serious cuts; but when the blade broke, Garcia retreated to rearm himself. John Kieckhefer, Linda's husband, then attempted to prevent a second attack with a 20ga. shotgun, but missed and also was stabbed. Finally, another ranch hand's wife passed Sheppard a .357 Mag. handgun, which he fired at Garcia. Two bullets found their mark and gave Sheppard time to retreat into the ranch house. Garcia continued his rampage still attempting to get at his victims before finally collapsing in death. "You tell them, by God, I shot that 5.0.8., and I'd do it again," said the 82yearold Sheppard after defending his daughter's life and ending the vicious attack. (The Daily Courier, Prescott, AZ, 6/13/99)

939. After the garage of Jack Barrett's Augusta, Georgia, home was burglarized, the 75yearold bought a 16ga. shotgun for protection. Not long afterward, Barrett's wife woke him in the early morning hours to say she heard a prowler. When Barrett went to investigate, he was met by a strapping young man clad in black military clothing and brandishing a knife. Barrett held his fire until the man was only a few steps away. He then delivered one fatal shot, striking the man in the chest. (The Augusta Chronicle, Augusta, GA, 6/16/99)

940. When a couple driving near Bishopville, South Carolina, noticed that a man driving behind them was flashing his car lights, they pulled over. "He asked them how to get to Charleston, and when they said they didn't know, he pulled out a gun and asked them for their money," said Lee County Sheriff Odell Corbett. The scared driver appeared to comply with the thug's request, but instead pulled his own gun and fired, fatally wounding the highway bandit. (Aiken Standard, Aiken, SC, 6/2/99)

941. Inland Valley, California, Humane Society officer Amy Murillo, 27, was responding to a local resident's pleas when she attempted to call off a vicious dog. But the animal turned on Murillo, jumping at her and causing her to fall against her vehicle. She suffered several bites to the head and chest from the crazed animal. Witnessing the young officer's plight, the resident who had summoned her help returned the favor by running to his house and retrieving a handgun. The dog then turned on the man who shot twice, killing it. (Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Ontario, CA, 4/23/99)

942. A brazen gunman left his car idling 50 yds. from the Sulphur Springs, Texas, police station one morning, walked into The Pawn Shop nearby and opened fire with a small caliber handgun, striking two workers and a customer with as many as nine shots. What the man didn't know was that the store's co-owner, Jay Price, was in the back and had heard the entire barrage. After arming himself with a 12ga. shotgun, the storekeeper emerged to fire one deafening blast from the smoothbore, dropping the assailant with serious wounds and ending the assault. "We believe that if Jay Price had not acted the way he did that there would have been some fatalities," said Sulphur Springs Police Chief Donnie Lewis. "The victims who had already been shot were probably saved by Jay Price." (The Winnsboro News, Winnsboro, TX, 5/11/99)

943. In an apparent robbery attempt, Stephen Jerome Stephenson entered Lee's Country Kitchen in Pitt County, North Carolina, one evening brandishing a handgun and ordering employees to the ground. Fortunately, owner Don Lee, who had been chatting with a customer, was prepared. After Stephenson fired off a shot into the ceiling to prove he was serious, Lee surprised him from little more than arm's length away, warning the would be robber to drop his gun. When Stephenson didn't comply, Lee let fly with a fatal shot from a handgun that he drew from the small of his back. Substances that appeared to be drugs were later found on the body by authorities. (The Daily Reflector, Greenville, NC, 6/3/99)

October, 1999

944. Army retiree John Langwasser, 68, heard glass breaking in his Jasper, Tennessee, home one morning and armed himself with a Smith & Wesson .38 Spl. revolver before going to investigate. According to Marion County Sheriff Jim Webb, Langwasser was met in the livingroom by a man with outstretched arms asking, "Did you know someone was breaking into your house?" Realizing the ruse was ineffective, the man jumped Langwasser, who fired the handgun, fatally striking the intruder once in the chest. (Chattanooga Times, Chattanooga, TN, 7-22-99)

945. Seventy-one-year-old Lee Carter had operated his Four Oaks, North Carolina, pharmacy in relative peace for a decade before coming face-to-face with a gun-wielding bandit 15 years ago. Following that incident, Carter began keeping a .22 cal. handgun nearby. The decision doubtless saved his life on a recent evening when a gunman entered the store around closing time and demanded Valium, morphine, and other drugs. In the ensuing gun battle, Carter took one bullet, but managed to inflict several gunshot wounds on the would-be robber, sending him to the hospital in much worse condition. Carter's longtime friend said later, "That is one less criminal they have to worry about catching." (The News and Observer, Raleigh, NC, 7-17-99)

946. Bartender Shannon Allan had no way of knowing that cutting off a patron at her workplace, E-Jay's Tavern, in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, would lead to a deadly confrontation. After bouncers ejected Scott Kniss from the bar, he returned minutes later bent on revenge and armed with a handgun and rifle. Firing 35 shots-some of which seriously injured Allen-into the roomful of patrons, Kniss was finally halted when bar owner Mike Jaber shot him twice with a .45-cal. handgun. "I was forced to act in self defense to protect myself, my employees, and my patrons," said Jaber following the traumatic incident. (Johnstown Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, PA, 7-4-99)

947. Emily Pesti's tranquil Gaithersburg, Maryland, back yard was quickly transformed into horror-movie-like setting one Sunday night when a 12-ft. snake appeared out of the darkness and coiled around the family pet: a mixed terrier named Dusty. Family members fought the beast with a leash, a shovel, even a surfboard-until the snake finally and released the limp, breathless Dusty, who was later revived and rushed to a veterinary hospital. Having been told by animal agencies after sighting the snake earlier that no help would be forthcoming, the family's nightmare finally ended when a neighbor showed up with a rifle and dispatched the reptile. (The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX, 7-29-99)

948. Michael Lamotte told sheriff's deputies in Greene County, Tennessee, that the double-wide mobile home he rented became the scene of a home invasion one Tuesday evening when two masked men kicked in the front door, ordered him to the floor, and robbed him of his wallet. Lamotte was determined not to take the roughing-up lying down, however, and managed to crawl to a closet, retrieve a shotgun, and shoot at one man before he escaped through a window. When the second intruder appeared from the basement stairs pointing a shotgun at him, Lamotte fired two shots, fatally wounding the home invader. (Knoxville News Sentinel, Knoxville, TN, 7-15-99)

949. Quick thinking and his 9mm pistol helped a former Marine save seven family members when 5 gun-toting thugs descended on his Tucson Arizona, home early one morning. The victim was awakened by a loud bang as three of the men broke down a garage door that led into the home. When they mysteriously retreated to a vehicle outside, the victim followed. That's when a gun battle erupted, moving back inside and family littering the home's floor with 25 spent casings from six guns. Police found evidence that at least one intruder was injured, but could not offer a motive for the incident. (The Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, AZ, 7-3-99)

950. A 34-year-old Boulder County, Colorado, woman became the trapped prey in a life-and-death contest with her estranged husband one Saturday when he invaded her home and held her against her will for more than five hours. The woman finally managed to break free by crawling through a second-story window. Then, turning the tables on her tormenter, she reentered the house-this time with a gun-and ordered him to leave. The man was was later arrested at his home and charged with attempted murder, burglary, felony menacing, harassment by stalking, and false imprisonment. (Rocky Mountain News, Denver, CO, 7-19-99)

951. Ocean City, Maryland, businessman and resident Stephen George was walking his dog late one night when he noticed two men in a passing vehicle turned off the headlights and swing back toward his business, Boat Doctor Marine, Inc. After watching the pair squeeze through the fence, George went to his house nearby and retrieved a stainless steel .357 Mag. revolver. Surprising the men-who were hefting new batteries back to their car-George commanded, "Hold it right there." He then instructed the pair to keep their hands in plain view and marched them back to business to dial 911. Sheriff Charles Martin later said, "I think it was a good, common sense move on his part. We've got limited limited manpower, and we need all the common sense help we can get." (The Daily Times, Salisbury, MD, 7-14-99)

November, 1999

952. Retired utility worker Joe Mergerle was walking in a Kenton County, Kentucky, park one morning when a man approached him, drew a pistol and demanded money. Fortunately, Mergerle was one of 5 1,000 Kentucky residents who held a firearms carry permit under a three-year-old state law allowing concealed carry. The law-along with Mergerle's .25-cal. pistol-may well have spared his life. Mergerle, fearing for his safety, drew the gun and shot his attacker twice, sending him to the hospital in critical condition. The would-be mugger is facing an attempted robbery charge and may also be charged with attempted murder. Sheriff Charles Korzenborn said of the incident, "People have not only a right but a responsibility to take care of themselves." (The Kentucky Post, Covington, KY, 8/20/99)

953. When an armed burglar wearing a ski mask broke into Patricia Mathias' basement early one morning, the frightened 63-year-old Keene, Ohio, resident went to investigate. Feeling a cold draft upon opening the door, Mathias retreated to her bedroom for a .22-cal. semi-automatic pistol and returned to the basement stairs. When she stepped down, an exchange of gunfire followed in which Mathias felt a bullet whiz by her ear. Her tormentor was not so lucky and suffered a fatal wound. His body was dumped in a ditch by an accomplice and was found eight days later. (The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus, OH, 2/23/99)

954. World War II veteran Clair Wallingford was in his Appenzell, Pennsylvania, general store one afternoon when a man came in, bought a soda and inquired about the distance to nearby Neola. He apparently didn't like Wallingford's answer of "five miles" because he summarily reached inside his baggy clothing, declared he had a .45-cal. handgun and demanded, "Give me your change box!" Wallingford's response doubtless took the ne'er-do well aback. He produced a pistol of his own and said: "I got a .45, too. Who's going to shoot first?" With that, the man fled. Wallingford, who trailed after the man, quickly called the state police. "These people don't scare me one bit," he later declared. (The Times News Pocono Post, Gilbert, PA, 8/13/99)

955. Richard Stein, a Monticello, New York, veterinarian, was at home one night when a knock came at the front door. When Stein found no one there, he reached for his .22-cal. rifle. His instincts turned out to be dead on. Moments later, a man appeared in the rear of Stein's house and began attacking him with a vacuum cleaner handle. Stein attempted to warn his attacker off, but to no avail. Police arrived to find the intruder dead with a single gunshot wound to the chest. (The Times Herald Record, Middletown, NY, 8/26/99)

956. Store owners Eugene and Clara Clifford were preparing to close their Cincinnati carryout late one night when three male teen-agers entered with shirts pulled over their heads. According to the Cliffords's son, Aaron Webster, "They said this is a stick-up and they wanted money." After one of the ruffians knocked down Mrs. Clifford, held her to the floor and put a gun against her head, her husband grabbed a gun and fired several shots, hitting all three. One later died of his wounds and police eventually caught and charged three other teen-agers allegedly involved in the attack. (The Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati, OH, 9/9/99)

957. Trucker Michael Pressley's routine delivery to an Atlanta foundry turned deadly early one morning when two seemingly innocent men approached his rig asking if he had a cigarette, then requesting that he make a call for them on his CB radio. "When Pressley went to reach for his radio, the first guy pulled out a 9 mm handgun and pointed at him," said Atlanta Police Sgt. Cecil Mann. The frightened trucker responded by firing his .25-cal. pistol, critically wounding one of the thugs who police said had a lengthy criminal record. (Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, GA, 8/11/99)

958. With her husband and older sons on a camping trip, Kathy York and her 7and 8-year-old sons were left to fend for themselves when a rabid skunk attacked the family dog at their Palmyra, Maine, home. Fortunately, the 8-year-old was more than up to the task of reloading the single-shot .22-cal. rifle for his mother who fired at the crazed, wild animal seven or eight times before finally killing it, ending its relentless attack. (Portland Press Herald, Portland, ME, S/ 18/99)

959. A 20-year-old man allegedly went on a crime spree early one Saturday in remote Posey, California, breaking into several homes, burglarizing some and brandishing a knife at residents. He finally picked the wrong house where he allegedly attempted to stab resident Lonnie Dugger. then put a stop to the rampage by shooting the deranged man once in the arm and detaining him until sheriff's deputies could arrive. (Fresno Bee, Fresno CA, 8/29/99)

960. Mike Aldrich was unaware of the danger he was about to face when he confronted a man attempting to steal items from his pickup truck one evening in Belen, New Mexico. The startled ne'er-do-well allegedly robbed Aldrich of his wallet and took the keys to the vehicle before pulling a gun on him. Aldrich fought back by retrieving a rifle from his other vehicle and shooting the man twice. When police arrived, they found the man being held at rifle- point. (Valencia County News-Bulletin, Belen, NM, 8/18/99)

January, 2000

961. North Carolina logger and farmer Jim Fowler and sons Winn and Dean have their instincts, bravery, family dog-and a pistol-to thank for their capture of a fugitive being sought by police in the killing of five family members from nearby Jonathan Creek. According to police, the man was part of an evil triumvirate that only days earlier had killed Earl and Cora Mae Phillips; the Phillipses' son, Eddie; his wife, Mitzi; and their daughter, Katie. Authorities suspect that Charles Wesley Roache, Christopher Wayne Lippard, and Chad McKinley Watt were having car trouble when a fight broke out between Ro and Watt. Soon afterward, was dead from a gunshot to the head. Things then turned deadly for the Phillipses, innocent bystanders who lived along Interstate 40 near where the fight broke out. Following newscasts of the tragic events, Fowler's sons decided to patrol their father's property before going logging. As the three returned from the sawmill to the house, their family dog began to growl and they noticed someone hiding under a camper top. It turned out to be Roache, whom they held at gunpoint until law enforcement authorities arrived. "I held him in the ditch until the law got here," said Fowler. Lippard remained at large, becoming the subject of a massive manhunt. (The Enterprise Mountaineer, Waynesville, NC, 10/4/99)

962. Even though North Carolina convenience store clerk Fred Hayes risked his job to discreetly carry a .25-cal. handgun at work, the decision likely extended his life. A customer attacked the concealed carry permit holder with a knife one morning and demanded money. When the store's manager got into the scuffle, Hayes, who had been cut by his attacker, fired one shot, striking the villain's side and sending him fleeing. He followed up by recording the getaway car's license number and hitting an emergency signal, summoning police. A wounded man was later charged with the crime at a nearby hospital. (Hicko Daily Record, Hickory, NC, 10/l/99)

963. After entering Stan Schley's Grand Rapids, Michigan, cellular phone store, an armed man made an inquiry about a specific model then promptly followed with the announcement: "I think I'll just take all your money!" Schley said later that when he fired back a response-two shots from his own gun-he was thinking, "Not today. I'm not going to be a victim, at least not an easy victim." (The Macomb Daily, Mount emens, MI, 9/15/99)

964. When ne'er-do-well Joey Wayne Fuller, 21, armed himself with a sword and a flashlight and then broke into a Lebanon, Alabama, woman's home, he was unaware he was about to come face to-face with the homeowner-and his Maker. After Fuller repeatedly stabbed the resident, she fired two shots, striking him once in the stomach. Fuller and his accomplice, waiting in a car outside, continued the assault by attempting to run down the fleeing woman who let two more shots ring out. Police later found Fuller dead in the lookout's vehicle. (Sand Mountain Reporter, Albertville, AL, 9/21/99)

965. A female Sharon, Pennsylvania, resident became frightened when a man repeatedly knocked on her door before going to her garage and picking up a chain saw. According to police, the woman grabbed a .22-cal. handgun and went outside to confront the man. When she pointed the gun at the man's head and ordered him to drop the saw, he realized he had been trumped and repeatedly apologized before fleeing the property. (Sharon Herald, Sharon, PA, 10/5/99)

966. Ed Barkhurst, 72, was unaware he as about to experience a second deadly brush with violence when a solicited him for yard work at his Napa, California, home. After Barkhurst refused the man's offer, he went back inside his house, armed himself and called for assistance. That's when the man forced his way through the exterior door. Barkhurst answered by firing a single fatal shot. Three years earlier, Barkhurst had given a ride to teenagers who said their car had broken down. According to police, they later repeatedly stabbed Barkhurst and left him for dead. (Vallejo TimesHerald, Vallejo, CA, 9/29/99)

967. Shirla Menendez was visiting her father next door in Jacksonville, Florida, when a man brazenly intruded brandishing a handgun. The invader forced Menendez to tie up Claude Allen, 77, then herded her into a bedroom and was about to shoot when a jewelry box caught his eye. "He told me he was taking me to the other room to kill me," said Menendez. Meanwhile, Allen, who hadn't fired a gun since World War 11, got loose, grabbed a 9mm Smith & Wesson pistol and hit the robber with a single, fatal shot. (The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, FL, 9/20/99)

968. For the second time in four months, M.D. Bhuiyan found himself facing a would-be robber in his Tulsa, Oklahoma, convenience store. As the man approached the proprietor demanding money, an accomplice remained at the door as a lookout. Bhuiyan foiled the holdup by pulling a .357 Mag. handgun from under the counter and shoving it in the scofflaw's face. At that, both men fled, firing at Bhuiyan as he gave chase to get a description of the getaway vehicle. (The Daily Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, OK, 9/16/99)

February, 2000

969. A wary deer hunter took the precaution of placing his .357 Mag. handgun - within easy reach before bedding down in his truck camper one night at a farm outside Frankford, Missouri. Soon afterward, he awoke to find John Dieumegarde, a 23-year-old prison escapee, trying to force his way inside. The armed hunter summarily halted the escaped felon and escorted him at gunpoint to the nearby farmhouse where his friend called 9-1 - 1. The capture ended a manhunt that had involved scores of police, citizens, blood hounds and helicopters. Dieumegarde, serving a 20-year sentence for robbery, had escaped while being transported from court on other charges. (The Quincy Herald-Whig, Quincy, IL, 10/26/99)

970. When Sampson Mitchell, 57, of Youngstown, Ohio, went outside to investigate a noise in his garage one morning around 6 a.m., he was confronted by a man wielding a crowbar, according to police reports. Fearing for his life, Mitchell fired once from his 9 mm handgun, but his assailant kept coming. Two additional shots sent the man, now severely wounded, fleeing. The intruder was found dead-still clutching the crowbar-a short time later in a back yard two houses away. (The Vindicator, Youngstown, Ohio, 11/2/99)

971. Kodak, Tennessee, convenience store owner Don Durben had closed up shop one night and was preparing to get into his van at the back of the store when he heard someone running toward him across the gravel. When the man reached Durben, he brandished a handgun and demanded that the proprietor hand over his cash box. Durben, who also was armed, feigned compliance, but after turning back to face the would-be robber, he used the box to push him away. A struggle ensued in which Durben gained the upper hand, shooting his assailant who, it was later learned, had a 38-page criminal record. (The Mountain Press, Sevierville, TN, 10/8/99)

972. Frank Herrmann was at his secluded Killingworth, Connecticut, home -one evening when he responded to noises from outside. Licensed for many years to carry a handgun, Herrmann armed himself with a.45-cal. pistol and carefully slid open a glass door. That's when he came face-to-face with an armed intruder who reportedly had been crouching nearby, said sources who added that Herrmann fired only when the man raised his gun as if to fire. Police later launched a manhunt for the fleeing intruder who apparently had been shot through one leg. "Given the alternatives, I'm not disappointed with the way things turned out," said Herrmann. "I'm very deeply grateful that the outcome was as positive as it was for those who dwell in this house." (New Haven Register New Haven, CT 12/4/99)

973. Seeking a suspect in a botched pawn shop holdup, Huntsville, Alabama, police didn't have to look far before finding the man's vehicle-it was parked in front of the store with his daily "to do" list inside that, incredibly, included the penciled-in reminder to "Rob pawn shop." The man had allegedly entered the store, asked owner John Dempsey to show him some stereo equipment and then, as Dempsey turned away, stabbed him with a knife. Dempsey pulled his .32-cal. handgun and, after chasing his assailant-who stopped long enough to inflict additional stab wounds-fired a shot that found its mark. Police later apprehended the man and charged him with robbery and attempted murder. (The Huntsville Times, Huntsville, AL, 9/9/99)

974. An 18-year-old ne'er-do-well who allegedly kicked in the door to Laurie Boykin's Auburn, Alabama, home one afternoon in a robbery attempt couldn't have known his shenanigans would prove an enormous pain in his rear. Boykin's response to the threat on her safety came in the form of a single well-placed shot to the intruder's buttocks. Police later nabbed the suspect at a nearby medical center after he apparently hightailed it away from the scene by hitching a ride with a passing motorist. (Ledger-Enquirer, Columbus, GA, 9/8/99)

975. Maurice Chevalier Dozier made a fatally poor decision when he targeted Dario Adams' Chattanooga, Tennessee, home for burglary. When Dozier, who had a lengthy criminal record, pried open a side window and began to climb in, Adams fired once with his 12-gauge shotgun, fatally striking Dozier in the side. "The law presumes someone willing to break into your home while you're there is willing to hurt you or kill you. And the use of deadly force is justified if and when you are in danger of serious bodily injury or death," said Hamilton County District Attorney General Bill Cox of the incident. (The Tennessean, Nashville, TN, 7/29/99)

976. A Snohomish County, Washington, condominium owner, his son and a neighbor were at home one evening when a man burst in through a second-story glass door. That the 230-lb. intruder had accomplished his extraordinary feat after having painted his face and feet white only intensified the residents' fright. The deranged man was finally halted with several shots from the homeowner's firearm, but continued to struggle with emergency personnel while being transported for medical treatment. (Seattle Post Intelligencer Seattle, WA, 11/19/99)

March, 2000

977. Evading a month-long manhunt that canvassed two north Florida counties, Brian K. Franklin‹whose criminal pursuits reportedly included drug manufacturing, car theft and home burglary‹finally met his demise at the hand of a homeowner intent on self preservation. Franklin brazenly walked onto the back porch of the Mayo, Fla. home with a handgun by his side but was momentarily halted when the victim's wife locked the interior door. Undeterred, Franklin broke in and reportedly raised his gun at the woman. That's when the woman's husband leveled a 12-ga. shotgun at Franklin's chest and pulled the trigger. The mortally wounded ruffian retreated from the house and expired a short while later in a nearby wood. (Branford News, Branford, Fla., 12/23/99)

978. Stanley Horn and his wife were at their home in Cumberland County, Tenn. one evening when a knife-wielding man forced his way inside and proceeded to tie up the couple and lead them upstairs. But the home invader apparently didn't do a thorough job on Horn's knots. Horn was able to free his hands and shot his tormentor three times, killing him. (The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Knoxville, Tenn., 12/22/99)

979. Bail bond agency owner and former police officer Juliet Williams stopped by her office early one morning on business and was immediately faced with a life-or-death situation. Judas Lewis Caudle, a career criminal intent on theft, was inside and had already stacked up a load of office equipment near the front door. When Caudle came at Williams with a crowbar, Williams fought back, firing once from the handgun for which she has a carry permit and mortally wounding Caudle. (The Charlotte Observer, Charlotte, N.C., 1/2/00)

980. Huntington Beach, Calif. homeowner Larry Spahr awoke to a loud banging at his back door early one morning only to find the door nearly kicked in and a hand reaching inside. After tussling through the opening with the man to whom the arm belonged, Spahr heard an accomplice say, "Move away from the door." Four shots rang out, sending splintered glass toward Spahr who retreated to his bedroom and grabbed a .357 Mag. handgun. He fired back, and the inept home invaders fled. (The Orange County Register, Santa Ana, Calif., 12/24/99

981. Reynaldo Batista had just given a man and his female companion a ride in Phoenix, Ariz. when the man pulled a gun while the woman relieved Batista of his wallet, watch and car keys, according to police. As Batista and the man became engaged in a struggle, Batista pulled his Glock handgun and fired twice. The would-be robber -- who had a lengthy criminal record including several outstanding felony warrants -- died from his wounds. (The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, Ariz., 12/24/99)

982. Clinton, N.C. convenience store owner Ali Odeh suspected something was wrong when he saw a customer enter his store leaving one hand inside his jacket pocket and continuing to keep his face turned away. Odeh later told police the man then approached him, pulled out a hammer and demanded, "Give me your money!" Odeh promptly upped the man's ante by producing a gun. The fleeing would-be robber was caught by police soon afterward. (The Sampson Independent, Clinton, N.C., 12/24/99)

983. Garnett Campbell had left home early one morning in order to withdraw cash from a bank's automatic teller machine. He had no idea he was in for the rudest of greetings. As Campbell stood at one machine waiting for his cash, a man standing at the next machine made a threatening gesture and ordered, "Give me all your money." A brief struggle ensued during which the two wrestled on the ground. Finally, Campbell drew his licensed handgun and fired, mortally wounding the would-be robber who fled and shortly thereafter crashed his vehicle into a convenience store. (Miami Herald, Miami, Fla. 12/18/99)

984. When Betty Kulas turned out the Christmas lights and went to bed one evening in her Tampa, Fla., home, she placed a .25-cal. handgun nearby. Not long afterward, the 62-year-old widow and grandmother of 16 was awakened by a crashing sound. Arming herself, she went to the living room to investigate and noticed a man's shadow move through her kitchen. "I just squeezed," said Kulas of firing at the intruder who was wounded before fleeing into a nearby field. Police charged the man with burglary of an occupied residence. He reportedly later told his mother, "I am so tired of this. I really want to go straight." (St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Fla., 12/22/99)

985. Shooting suspect James Michael Smith made a poor choice of hideouts one afternoon when he ducked into Tom Campbell's Standard Wilson Glass Co. in Knoxville, Tenn. Attempting to evade police, Smith ran into a supply room at the business where Campbell caught him reaching into his pocket. Campbell drew his .40-cal. pistol, held it against Smith and told him not to move. "He came awful close to meeting his maker," said Campbell. Police were following closely behind and took Smith into custody. "I am a glass merchant that would like this trash off the street," Campbell said. "I was glad I was able to help." (The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Knoxville, Tenn., 12/11/99)

April, 2000

986. Accountant Merlann Bechtel's heart sank as she watched a robbery unfold on video surveillance in the back of the jewelry store where she worked. Three men--one wearing a ski mask and armed with a gun--entered the business in Lower Paxton Township, Pa., announced a robbery and began strong-arming employees and smashing display cases. Bechtel's valiant attempt to help her co-workers drew a hail of fire from the gunman, said police, but she ultimately got the drop on the crook after meeting him face to face. Firing twice from her own gun, she shot the man in the abdomen, ending the horrific ordeal. Fleeing suspects dropped off their partner at an area hospital and were later arrested along an Interstate. "We are allowed to defend ourselves against others when deadly force is used or threatened," said Harrisburg attorney Alan Michael Ross. (The Patriot-News, Harrisburg, Pa., 2/2/00)

987. James McCullough and his nephew were mending fence one afternoon when they noticed a suspicious vehicle enter their neighbor's pasture in Hollister, Calif. When three gunshots cracked through the air, the men resolved to investigate. They arrived at the site only to discover a dead heifer in the back of a Suburban whose driver and passenger were about to make a getaway. The two trespassers, who were held at gunpoint until a sheriff's deputy could arrive, were subsequently arrested and charged with using a stolen revolver to kill the cow. (San Jose Mercury News, San Jose, Calif., 1/26/00)

988. A band of thugs that accosted and beat a 24-year-old Lafayette, Calif., convenience store customer late one Saturday night appeared to be fearless in their superior numbers. As they kicked their fallen prey about the head, two Good Samaritans rushed in to help even the score. The attackers were undeterred by their decreasing odds of success, however, and continued beating the victim. That's when one of the rescuers made a move that turned the tide: He racked a pump-action shotgun, sending the assailants fleeing. (Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek, Calif., 12/15/99)

989. Sean Green was walking in downtown Atlanta when a man, allegedly armed with a knife and intent on committing a mugging, confronted him. The off-duty security guard ran for his life, but was cornered by his attacker at the entrance to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper office. The incident, recounted in the following day's edition, ended when Green shot the would-be robber once in the leg. Green had the guard at the newspaper's lobby call police who soon arrested his attacker. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., 1/30/00)

990. A plan by two men to rob the Po'Kin convenience store in Live Oak, Fla., at knifepoint was foiled by an 11-year-old girl, her armed father, the store's owner and other customers in an incredible display of community crimefighting. When the girl realized she had startled the nefarious pair, she ran for her father outside with one of the men on her heels. As that man fled in a vehicle, another customer gave chase. Meanwhile, the owner was struggling inside with the second man who, according to a Suwannee County Sheriff's officer, was stuffing bills into his pocket. The girl's father, now armed, entered the store where he and another customer subdued the man and held him for authorities. The first man was captured soon afterward at a nearby bar. (Citrus County Chronicle, Crystal River, Fla., 1/18/00)

991. Bricie Tribble heard a strange noise in her Apache Junction, Ariz., home shortly after midnight and decided to investigate. What she found was a man kneeling by a recliner as he rummaged through her purse. According to Apache Junction police, when Tribble asked the intruder to identify himself, he replied, "I'm going to kill everyone in this house, including you." Tribble, who had armed herself just in case, fired at least one fatal shot with her .45-cal. handgun. Police said the man had begun his crime spree earlier that evening, abducting a woman at a nearby Wal-Mart before driving her to a secluded location and then raping and shooting her. The victim lived and gave police a description of her attacker. (The Tribune, Mesa, AZ, 2/2/00)

992. Marion, Ind., resident Brian Smith told authorities that when he returned home one Friday night he saw five men leaving his garage apartment. Smith said that when he began yelling at the intruders, one fired shots at him. Smith returned fire with his .357-Mag., scattering the suspects. When police arrived, they found several of the would-be home robbers hiding nearby along with a small quantity of drugs. (Marion Chronicle Tribune, Marion, Ind., 12/18/99)

993. Gun-wielding murder suspect Marc Mealey Holcomb, Jr., had already been shot by one armed citizen when he thrust his fist through a small window in the door of Sandra Rabine's Albany, Ore., home. Holcomb, who allegedly confronted several other residents seeking a getaway car, pleaded with Rabine for assistance. The terrified homeowner armed herself with a 9 mm handgun and replied, "I'll get you some help, but you just have to back away from the door. If you don't, I will shoot you!" At that point, Rabine beat the gun from Holcomb's hand, sending the fugitive fleeing. (The Register-Guard, Eugene, Ore., 11/18/99)

994. Awakened by noises at his back door early one morning, an 83-year-old San Francisco widower resolved to protect himself with a handgun purchased for exactly such an eventuality. As an intruder armed with a tire iron approached his bedroom, the elderly homeowner retrieved the gun and pulled the trigger--for the first time in 30 years. Bought in 1948, the .38-cal. Smith & Wesson revolver had gone largely unused for more than half a century. It finally became the man's only hope of self-preservation, proving deadly reliable in a pinch. The shot ended the confrontation and the invader's life. The homeowner said later, "I never thought I would kill another person. I just wanted to stay at home and mind my own business." (San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco, Calif., 2/22/00)

995. Raymond Rask was jarred awake in his Britt, Minn., home early one Saturday when an intruder wearing a nylon sock over his head and armed with a rifle barged in, fired two shots and demanded that Rask hand over the money in his safe. Rask answered the order by grabbing his lever-action Savage rifle and inserting a round. That sent the man fleeing. Two men were later caught and charged in the incident. (Mesabi Daily News, Virginia, Minn., 2/23/00)

996. A man armed with a shotgun and concealing his face with a bandanna entered Getachew Alemayehu's Fort Worth, Texas, grocery store threatening the owner and his pregnant wife. Determined to fight back, Alemayehu grabbed his .380-cal. handgun and fired several times, killing the bandit. Only a month earlier, a clerk had been shot to death at a neighboring convenience store. That incident prompted Alemayehu to buy the gun that probably saved his life. (The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, 3/4/00)

997. Barking dogs announced that a desperate murder suspect--armed with a rifle and a pistol--had wandered onto Jim Kremers' Cheyenne, Wyo., ranch one night. Kremers, who had been warned to be on the lookout for the fugitive, met the threat with the aid of his son who had a rifle of his own. The men eventually turned the tense standoff into a compassionate surrender, feeding the suspect hot dogs and beans and allowing him to call his parents. Meanwhile, the ranchers went back outside, secured the guns and summoned police to make the arrest. (Denver Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Colo., 2/17/00)

998. An elderly man was at home in his South Side Chicago apartment when an invader broke a window and knocked in the door, according to police. When the intended victim heard the commotion, he went for his gun and warned the intruder to stay back. As the man--armed with a knife--kept coming, the resident stood fast. He used his .38-cal. handgun to fatally dispatch the attacker. (Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., 3/2/00)

999. When three would-be robbers entered a Commerce City, Colo., residence, one of them pulled a knife, according to officials. The two men and a woman apparently had planned to rob an acquaintance; but the homeowner resisted the threat, drawing his semi-automatic handgun and shooting the two men. After the three fled, they called for medical help from a cousin's house. The police followed shortly thereafter. "As soon as they get out of the hospital, we'll be there to meet and greet them," said Sgt. Craig Coleman of the Adams County Sheriff's Dept. (The Denver Post, Denver, Colo., 2/21/00)

1000. The peace and quiet of Glen White's Oildale, Calif., home was shattered early one morning by a burglar who confronted White and demanded money. A disabled diabetic, White evened his odds by firing back with several shots from his .38-cal. revolver. The intruder was hit three times. He fled and later sought help at a nearby medical center. A neighbor of White commented, "If you ask me, I think (the intruder) got just what he deserves." (The Bakersfield Californian, Bakersfield, Calif., 2/15/00)

1001. When a man who had done some work for a Columbus, Neb., woman showed up at her home one Saturday, she turned him away saying she was too busy to talk. He soon returned to ask the woman for water to cool his overheated van. After sending him around the side of the house to draw it, she went back to her business. The next thing she knew, the man had followed her back into the house with a rifle and began aiming it at her and pulling the trigger. The terrified resident had the presence of mind to go for her handgun, killing the intruder. (Columbus Telegram, Columbus, Neb., 10/29/99)

1002. A 74-year-old St. Petersburg, Fla., man answered his doorbell one night, but didn't hear a reply when he inquired about the visitor's identity. The next thing the resident heard was the sound of breaking glass at the back of his house. Acting to protect himself, the elderly man stood his ground as the break-in attempt continued. After the would-be burglar knocked out a door panel, the resident fired several shots from his .38-cal. handgun, sending the intruder fleeing. Police later caught the inept scofflaw. (The Tampa Tribune, Tampa, Fla., 11/2/99)

May, 2000

1003. Awakened by noises at his back door early one morning, an 83-year-old San Francisco widower resolved to protect himself with a handgun purchased for exactly such an eventuality. As an intruder armed with a tire iron approached his bedroom, the elderly homeowner retrieved the gun and pulled the trigger--for the first time in 30 years. Bought in 1948, the .38-cal. Smith & Wesson revolver had gone largely unused for more than half a century. It finally became the man's only hope of self-preservation, proving deadly reliable in a pinch. The shot ended the confrontation and the invader's life. The homeowner said later, "I never thought I would kill another person. I just wanted to stay at home and mind my own business." (San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco, Calif., 2/22/00)

1004. Raymond Rask was jarred awake in his Britt, Minn., home early one Saturday when an intruder wearing a nylon sock over his head and armed with a rifle barged in, fired two shots and demanded that Rask hand over the money in his safe. Rask answered the order by grabbing his lever-action Savage rifle and inserting a round. That sent the man fleeing. Two men were later caught and charged in the incident. (Mesabi Daily News, Virginia, Minn., 2/23/00)

1005. A man armed with a shotgun and concealing his face with a bandanna entered Getachew Alemayehu's Fort Worth, Texas, grocery store threatening the owner and his pregnant wife. Determined to fight back, Alemayehu grabbed his .380-cal. handgun and fired several times, killing the bandit. Only a month earlier, a clerk had been shot to death at a neighboring convenience store. That incident prompted Alemayehu to buy the gun that probably saved his life. (The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, 3/4/00)

1006. Barking dogs announced that a desperate murder suspect--armed with a rifle and a pistol--had wandered onto Jim Kremers' Cheyenne, Wyo., ranch one night. Kremers, who had been warned to be on the lookout for the fugitive, met the threat with the aid of his son who had a rifle of his own. The men eventually turned the tense standoff into a compassionate surrender, feeding the suspect hot dogs and beans and allowing him to call his parents. Meanwhile, the ranchers went back outside, secured the guns and summoned police to make the arrest. (Denver Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Colo., 2/17/00)

1007. An elderly man was at home in his South Side Chicago apartment when an invader broke a window and knocked in the door, according to police. When the intended victim heard the commotion, he went for his gun and warned the intruder to stay back. As the man--armed with a knife--kept coming, the resident stood fast. He used his .38-cal. handgun to fatally dispatch the attacker. (Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., 3/2/00)

1008. When three would-be robbers entered a Commerce City, Colo., residence, one of them pulled a knife, according to officials. The two men and a woman apparently had planned to rob an acquaintance; but the homeowner resisted the threat, drawing his semi-automatic handgun and shooting the two men. After the three fled, they called for medical help from a cousin's house. The police followed shortly thereafter. "As soon as they get out of the hospital, we'll be there to meet and greet them," said Sgt. Craig Coleman of the Adams County Sheriff's Dept. (The Denver Post, Denver, Colo., 2/21/00)

1009. The peace and quiet of Glen White's Oildale, Calif., home was shattered early one morning by a burglar who confronted White and demanded money. A disabled diabetic, White evened his odds by firing back with several shots from his .38-cal. revolver. The intruder was hit three times. He fled and later sought help at a nearby medical center. A neighbor of White commented, "If you ask me, I think (the intruder) got just what he deserves." (The Bakersfield Californian, Bakersfield, Calif., 2/15/00)

1010. When a man who had done some work for a Columbus, Neb., woman showed up at her home one Saturday, she turned him away saying she was too busy to talk. He soon returned to ask the woman for water to cool his overheated van. After sending him around the side of the house to draw it, she went back to her business. The next thing she knew, the man had followed her back into the house with a rifle and began aiming it at her and pulling the trigger. The terrified resident had the presence of mind to go for her handgun, killing the intruder. (Columbus Telegram, Columbus, Neb., 10/29/99)

1011. A 74-year-old St. Petersburg, Fla., man answered his doorbell one night, but didn't hear a reply when he inquired about the visitor's identity. The next thing the resident heard was the sound of breaking glass at the back of his house. Acting to protect himself, the elderly man stood his ground as the break-in attempt continued. After the would-be burglar knocked out a door panel, the resident fired several shots from his .38-cal. handgun, sending the intruder fleeing. Police later caught the inept scofflaw. (The Tampa Tribune, Tampa, Fla., 11/2/99)

June, 2000

1012. McMinnville, Tenn., homeowner Mark Haley awoke to the sounds of a break-in early one Tuesday and went to investigate with his handgun. According to Warren County Sheriff Jackie Matheny, the home invader had kicked in a basement door and was heading toward the bedroom when he met the armed homeowner. "I told him to stop right there, but he took another step. Then I cocked the gun and told him to stop again. That's when he stopped," said Haley. "He was about three steps away from where my children were sleeping, so I knew I had a decision to make. All I could think of was the safety of my family." Haley held the man at bay until authorities arrived. (Southern Standard, McMinnville, Tenn., 2/9/00)

1013. A Bradenton, Fla., man who left his apartment on foot early one Sunday was violently assaulted by two people who jumped him from behind. The vicious attack left the victim with 16 stab wounds to the back. Despite the seriousness of his injuries, however, the man fought back, pulling a gun and firing at his attackers. One of the assailants was flown to a nearby medical center suffering from a gunshot wound to the stomach. The victim helped police identify his other attacker who was later charged with attempted murder. (The Tampa Tribune, Tampa, Fla., 3/20/00)

1014. Troy and Marie Mathis arrived at their Forrest City, Ark., home one night and stepped from their car directly into a life-or-death scenario. According to police, two masked men appeared in the driveway, and one pointed a gun at Marie Mathis' head in a robbery attempt. Troy Mathis fought back, pulling his own pistol from a pocket and firing once. The masked gunman then shot back. When the smoke cleared, the accomplice was gone and Mathis was wounded. The gunman didn't fare as well. He expired a short time later in a nearby vehicle. Reports indicated he had a lengthy criminal record that included robberies, burglaries and weapons charges. (Times-Herald, Forrest City, Ark., 12/22/99)

1015. When John "Buck" Beauchamp's dog began growling at 2 a.m., he sensed something outside the house was wrong. Peering through a kitchen window, Beauchamp saw a man carrying items from his truck and placing them in the trunk of a car. Clad in his underwear and armed with a hunting rifle, Beauchamp ran outside and confronted the man. "I've got your license plate number and I've called the police. You might as well sit down," he commanded. When police arrived, they took the man into custody and later arrested an accomplice in connection with a string of more than 20 car break-ins. (The Albany Herald, Albany, Ga., 12/30/99)

1016. Gerard Douglas carried his .38-cal. handgun for self-protection during the overnight shift at a Daytona Beach convenience store. The habit likely spared the 61-year-old clerk's life. According to police accounts, an armed suspect entered the store early one morning demanding money. Douglas initially thought the man was joking, but when he realized the order wasn't a gag, his resolve turned gravely serious. When the man set aside his gun to grab the loot, Douglas--recalling a recent robbery that resulted in the clerk being killed despite handing over the cash--drew his gun and fired a single shot. Authorities later found a college student in his campus residence bleeding from a gunshot wound to the chest. (The Orlando Sentinel, Orlando, Fla., 11/12/99)

1017. A night clerk was on duty at an Elkhart, Ind., hotel when two men wearing blue bandanas over their faces and holding their hands in their pockets walked in. The quick-thinking clerk reached behind the counter, grabbed his handgun--for which he had a permit--and pointed it at the unwelcome "guests" demanding that they leave. Both men were more than happy to comply and instantly fled the premises. (The Elkhart Truth, Elkhart, Ind., 3/22/00)

1018. A 29-year-old woman was in her Sequim, Wash., home with her young children early one Sunday when she heard what sounded like someone attempting to break in. Not waiting for her suspicions to be confirmed, she swung into action, summoning help from authorities with her cell phone. Then, gathering her children, she retreated to the bedroom and armed herself with a 9 mm handgun. As the intruder made his way to the bedroom, his intended victim confronted him with the business end of her handgun, sending him fleeing. None of the home's occupants was harmed, and police later caught and arrested the intruder. (Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, Wash., 1/26/00)

1019. Screams from an Albuquerque, N.M., woman who returned home one afternoon to find a burglar inside called an entire neighborhood to action. After the fleeing suspect hopped into a getaway car with an accomplice, the pair sped off. Unfortunately for the nefarious knuckleheads, their escape route turned out to be a dead-end street. When the car pulled into a driveway, one suspect escaped and the other was quickly surrounded by a pistol-wielding neighbor and other residents. "It's a good response by the neighbors," said Sgt. B. Carr of the Albuquerque Police Department. (Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque, N.M., 9/19/99)

July, 2000

1020. A wolf apparently targeted a 6-year-old boy playing near a logging camp in Icy Bay, Alaska, one chilly April morning. According to camper Teresa Thompson, the animal "was aware of the other people around him, but his whole intention was trying to take off with the little boy. He had literally picked the little boy off the ground." A camp carpenter and a dog finally came to the boy's rescue, chasing off the animal, but not before the boy suffered multiple bite wounds that later required stitches. The crazed animal returned 10 minutes later, but this time Thompson's husband dispatched it with a gun. Alaska Fish and Game Department officials said they were unaware of similar incidents anywhere in North America and sent off the animal's head for rabies testing. (The Seattle Times, Seattle, Wash., 4/28/00)

1021. A Sedalia, Mo., woman was at home one morning when she came face to face with a masked intruder standing in her living room. The attacker--wearing baggy clothing, a dark blue ski mask and latex gloves--hadn't counted on confronting an equally prepared victim. The woman told authorities that the man pushed her to the floor, removed her rings, and attempted to sexually assault her. When she inflicted a knee strike, her attacker was momentarily dazed. That's when the woman retrieved a pistol from a file cabinet, which sent the man fleeing. (The Sedalia Democrat, Sedalia, Mo., 4/16/00)

1022. Joyce Cashion was behind the counter of her Kings Mountain, N.C., convenience store when a man came in and lunged at her, knocking her to the cement floor. Cashion instinctively yelled for her husband who was in the back of the store. The would-be robber, surprised that his intended victim was not alone, ran back and began struggling with 71-year-old Bill Cashion. After Cashion got the upper hand, he grabbed a handgun and fired at his tormentor. "Get out of here or the next one will be between the eyes!" he yelled, sending the attacker fleeing. (The Charlotte Observer, Charlotte, N.C., 10/30/99)

1023. When a motorist sped away after London, Ohio, police attempted to ticket him, he didn't go far before abandoning his vehicle at an apartment complex. The man hightailed it on foot in a desperate attempt to outpace authorities. Finally, he broke through the rear door of a nearby apartment. The random choice turned out to be a poor one for the hapless fugitive. The resident had already armed himself. According to Madison County Sheriff's Lt. Jim Sabin, he then "advised [the intruder] to lay on the floor." The man remained at gunpoint until police arrived. (The Madison Press, London, Ohio, 4/3/00)

1024. A pair of armed, would-be crooks who entered a Bessemer, Colo., liquor store were one-upped when they attempted to impress the clerk with the seriousness of their demands. "I'm not kidding," said one man as he brandished a chrome-plated handgun. The determined clerk's retort was virtually instantaneous: "I'm not [expletive] kidding either. I'll kill you!" he said, pointing his own pistol at the startled bandit. At that, the men fled the premises. As the clerk gave chase, he heard one man yell back, "I'm only kidding! I'm only kidding!" (The Pueblo Chieftain, Pueblo, Colo., 3/5/99)

1025. Florida bartender Louis Place left work at the end of his shift one morning with his tips and a .40-cal. handgun he kept tucked in his waistband. As he was about to get into his truck, Place was accosted by four men, one of whom demanded, "Show me the money." The men kicked and punched Place, who attempted to cover himself and his handgun. But when he heard one man order another to grab his gun, Place pulled out the Smith & Wesson and fired several times. One attacker was hit in the leg and another sustained a wound to his buttocks. Police later caught all four thugs and charged them with strong-arm robbery. Place, explaining his decision to carry discreetly, said, "I told [co-workers] I hoped I never had to shoot anyone, but I knew it was them or me." (The Tampa Tribune, Tampa, Fla., 4/29/00)

1026. A 14-year-old Marysville, Wash., girl was in bed one night when she woke to the sound of a creaking floor. "I looked up at this man, and he came over to my bed and started choking me," she recalled. "I was kicking the walls and trying to get away. We wrestled on the floor. I felt myself going unconscious." Just then, the girl's brother came to her rescue. When the pair's scuffle sent them tumbling down the stairs, the children's father rushed out from his downstairs bedroom with a gun. After he fired one round, the intruder fled, leaving his T-shirt and sweater behind. (The Herald, Everett, Wash., 4/16/00)

1027. An Altoga, Texas, property owner arrived home one afternoon to find an unfamiliar pickup truck loaded down with his personal property. As he surveyed the situation, two strangers emerged from behind the house. The resident pulled out a handgun and demanded an explanation. When the men attempted to concoct a story about their vehicle having broken down and started to leave, "The homeowner shot out two of the truck's tires...," said the Collin County Sheriff's Office. The resident then phoned authorities who arrived to find him holding the two suspects at gunpoint. (McKinney Courier Gazette, McKinney, Texas, 2/10/00)

August, 2000

1028. Washougal, Washington, resident Gloria McCourt was working in her garden one evening as her 5-year-old daughter played nearby. Suddenly, a 250-pound bear emerged from the woods and fixed its gaze on the little girl. "I looked at that bear as it was looking at my baby, and something happened. I turned into the mamma bear," said McCourt. She was convinced the bruin posed an immediate threat and resolved to protect her family. Grabbing a .357 Mag. handgun, McCourt "got a bead on [the bear] and hit him in the neck." Then, with the assistance of two workers from a local fish hatchery, she trailed the animal into the woods. The posse soon found the beast expired. Captain Murray Schlenker of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife later explained that, like most "nuisance" bears, the one McCourt dispatched was probably nosing around because it "had become addicted to garbage." (The Seattle Times, Seattle, WA, 5/4/00)

1029. A West Boca Raton, Florida, resident was thankful he had prepared for the worst when a neighbor from the same apartment complex broke through his window in an impromptu 3 a.m. "visit." The resident already had his gun trained on the intruder's intended path by the time the inept, would-be burglar made his way into the kitchen. The resident continued to hold the man at gunpoint as he reported the incident to a 9-1-1 operator. Deputies arriving on the scene a short time later found both captor and crook--mediated by the former's firearm--out front. "Honestly, as a law enforcement officer I recommend protecting yourself," said Sgt. Rick McDermott of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. (Boca Raton News, Boca Raton, FL, 11/4/99)

1030. As Dante Williams of Gary, Indiana, walked toward home one night, he looked ahead to his basement apartment and noticed a man standing nearby. Moments later, when Williams attempted to enter, a struggle ensued with his front door acting as the only barrier between him and three adversaries. Apparently, the lookout had been joined by two other men, all of whom were now attempting to force an invasion of Williams' home. According to police, one of the attackers was armed and fired on Williams. The shaken resident, who had a permit to carry a handgun, responded with several shots from his .40-caliber pistol. Police arrived on the scene a short time later to find Williams, pistol drawn, on the lookout for the other two assailants. Police also found the body of the third man, who had been wearing a mask and whose gun had discharged at least once, lying near the apartment. Williams later identified his other two attackers who were arrested by police. (Gary Post-Tribune, Gary, IN, 3/30/00)

1031. A string of burglaries that targeted a garage where Bret Hutchison had stored personal belongings prompted the Mesa, Arizona, resident to arm himself and hunker down inside. Having prepared for a long wait with food and other supplies, Hutchison was surprised when he heard thumping sounds little more than an hour later. According to police accounts provided by Hutchison, the sounds turned out to be a burglar crawling through a vent from the adjoining house. After the man climbed down into the garage and noticed him, said Hutchison, he threw a brick and then went for another weapon. "When [the suspect] reaches toward his back area and says he's going to kill him, Hutchison closes his eyes and shoots," said Sgt. Don Rosenberger, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. The shots found their target, sending the suspect to a local hospital. (The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, AZ, 3/9/00)

1032. Juan Perez entered a Philadelphia grocery store to buy a jar of pickles, but was lucky to emerge a short time later with his life. Perez watched in horror as gunmen stormed in, put a gun to his head, robbed him of $20, and forced him to lie on the floor. That's when the ruffians went after the store's owner whose wife and children were on the premises. As Perez lay fear-stricken on the floor, he heard one of the would-be robbers tell the merchant, "Either give me the money or I will shoot your child." At that, the merchant brought his own gun to bear and opened fire on his two assailants. In the ensuing battle, Perez was wounded in the shoulder by one of the armed robbers and one gunman was killed. Perez later commented of the merchant's actions flatly, "He was protecting his family." Another neighbor said, "I think he did the right thing. He had to protect his wife and children." (Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA, 3/13/00)

1033. Edward Tuliper didn't typically receive visitors--least of all wild animals--in the wee hours of the night, but that's exactly what happened to the Florence, Vermont, resident one Sunday. "I thought, 'Oh, jeez, the dog's getting into a porcupine," said Tuliper of the commotion that erupted shortly after 3 a.m. in his front yard. It turned out that the family pet had cornered a rabid, 40-pound female bobcat by an entranceway. When Tuliper's wife, Linda, opened a door to check on the family pet, named Max, she was nearly overrun by the crazed cat. Both she and the couple's 13-year-old daughter fought the animal for control of the door. Meanwhile, Edward Tuliper attempted to dispatch the big cat with a machete. Finally, with help from his daughter, Tuliper latched onto a pistol and fired several shots killing the cat. Authorities later determined the animal was rabid. Fortunately, no member of the family--including Max the dog--was badly hurt. (Rutland Herald, Rutland, VT, 5/18/00)

September, 2000

1034.
A 65-year-old newspaper delivery man was in his California garage preparing for his daily run when a 19-year-old armed ruffian suddenly came inside demanding money, according to police. The younger man apparently had not benefited from the positive influence of his father's former position as an Oakland police officer and instead had chosen to make his living the "easy" way. His choice of victim was equally poor, however, because the elderly man was intent on self-defense. The resident, gun to his head, quickly found himself backed against a workbench, but managed to retrieve his revolver from under a stack of papers. His single, fatal shot sent the attacker staggering outside and prompted two accomplices to flee the scene. The delivery man later told authorities that he feared for his life and for those of his grandchildren who were sleeping inside the home. (The Oakland Tribune, Oakland CA, 5/8/00)

1035. Five-foot-five-inch Lilly Fu was working in her family's Queens New York, cellular telephone when, according to police, three men entered, announced a robbery, and her into a back room. As they attempted to duct-tape Fu's hands and feet, the feisty merchant fought back, stabbing at the men with a pen. When they stole Fu's purse and attempted to flee, they were thwarted as Fu, now armed with a licensed gun, fired on them. A short time later, police found the getaway vehicle a few blocks away. One of Fu's assailants was slumped over the steering wheel with a fatal gunshot wound to the neck. (Newsday, Melville, NY, 5/25/00)

1036. Penny Smith started after her dogs when she heard them chasing what she assumed was a rabbit near her Shrewsbury, Vermont, home. When the animal turned out to be a rabies crazed coyote, though, Smith bolted for her truck and sounded the horn for her husband. Unfortunately, Greg Smith's single shot missed its mark. The next day, a second attack sent Penny Smith running once again-this time into the house. When Greg Smith came to her rescue this time, he was passed at the front door first by his wife and then by the coyote. "[The animal] was right on her heels," he said. "I never even saw it until it was going by me." Penny Smith escaped out the back of the house, but the coyote turned on Greg Smith, who put down the 30-pound animal with six shots from his handgun. "It was so sinister. The thing was cool as a cucumber. It had no fear," said Smith. (Valley News, West Lebanon,6/8/00)

1037. A wheelchair bound Vietnam War veteran was in his apartment early one morning when another man-apparently drunk and jealous about a mutual female friend charged toward the apartment screaming obscenities and ultimately forcing his way inside. Meanwhile, the resident armed himself with a 9mm handgun. He was forced to use it only seconds later to defend his life as the home invader advanced toward him. The homeowner mortally wounded his attacker. A neighbor who witnessed the incident said of the invader, "This isn't the first time he's kicked the door in. I think he intended to really hurt [the resident] this time." (The News Review, Roseburg, OR, 6/2/00)

1038. No sooner had a couple arrived at their property in a remote area of West Virginia than they were attacked by a man vandalizing their camper and the surrounding area. When the husband and the intruder locked eyes, the latter advanced. Bent on mayhem, the vandal refused to heed warnings from the wife who finally was forced to fire a single, fatal shot from her semi-automatic handgun to halt the confrontation. (The Register-Herald, Beckley, WV, 6/8/00)

1039. Media reports of a dangerous fugitive were still fresh in the mind of a Mount Pleasant, Tennessee, resident when he went to check on his dogs, which had suddenly begun barking. The man's worst fears were confirmed when he spotted a figure lurking nearby and recognized him as the person police were seeking. Fortunately, the property owner had first armed himself with a gun. "Basically, [the resident] subdued him until law enforcement arrived," said Monroe County Sheriff Doug Watson. The suspect was being sought in connection with the abduction and rape of a 19-year-old woman the previous week. (News-Herald, Lenoir City, TN, 5/3/00)

1040. In a near-deadly encounter that police concluded may have been a case of mistaken identity, two men with guns knocked on the door of a Minneapolis, Minnesota, house shortly before midnight and pushed aside the female resident who answered. Commanding her to "stay away," the men made their way inside, but not before the woman shouted a warning to her male companion. He grabbed a rifle and fired on the pair, striking one man in the leg. Both men fled, but were later arrested by police. (Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, 12/9/99)

1041. A 79-year-old resident of Chicago's South Side was at home one night when someone broke a window and knocked in his door, according to police. The startled man mustered the presence of mind to retreat to his bedroom and arm himself with a.38-caliber handgun. When his 30-year-old assailant-whom he now could see was armed with a knife-advanced threateningly toward him, the resident issued a stern warning. The crazed attacker refused to yield, however, and was felled by a fatal shot. The Cook County state's attorney rejected charges against the homeowner. (Chicago Tribune, Chicago, IL, 3/2/00)

OCTOBER 2000

1042. Sandra Suter knew that a shopping trip to her local Wal-Mart store in Spring Hill, Florida, would end with a wait in the checkout line. What she didn't count on was the near life-ending drama that was about to play out in front of her. The 5-foot, 3-inch grandmother, on advice from her son, had taken to carrying a .40-caliber handgun in her purse for self-protection. Now she looked on in disbelief as several employees began wrestling with a man and one worker yelled out, "Drop the knife! Drop the knife!" The man, whom authorities later reported was attempting to steal a VCR, lunged at the employees, inflicting cuts with a small blade. That's when Suter rushed into the melee and announced, "I have a concealed weapons permit" and demanded, "Either drop the knife, or I'll shoot you!" After Suter repeated the threat, the knife-wielding man finally surrendered to store security. Later, Suter said she strongly supports Americans' right to bear arms and added that target practice and gun-safety instruction had "brought our family closer together." She said of the confrontation, "I just did what I thought was right." (The Times, St. Petersburg, FL, 5/24/00)

1043. Betty Berkstresser had set out for a walk near her Pennsylvania home one Sunday morning before church when she encountered a strange gray fox. "Its lips were curled up and I saw its teeth. Right away, I thought rabies," she said. Berkstresser kicked the animal as it attacked, which gave her time to reach her .38-caliber Taurus revolver. She got off three shots before the fox ran back into the weeds. "The good Lord was really with me," said Berkstresser. Although she had to undergo a series of inoculations to guard against the infection, she admitted, "It could have been a lot worse." (The Valley Log, Mount Union, PA, 6/28/00)

1044. A woman who thought she was alone in her Jacona, New Mexico, home had just emerged from the shower when she heard the sounds of someone ransacking the residence. The quick-thinking resident retreated to the bedroom, but was soon confronted by a stocky male intruder who had violently kicked down the locked door. That's when the intended victim pointed a handgun at the man, sending him fleeing. Authorities later said there may have been more than one man in the house. (The Santa Fe New Mexican, Santa Fe, NM, 5/9/00)

1045. Sixty-eight-year-old Arlington, Texas, auto salesman and Korean War veteran Jappy J. Dickson had just gotten out of his car at a restaurant when an armed man approached him and demanded money. "He said, 'Give me all your money or I'll blow your head off,'" said Dickson. Feigning compliance, Dickson instead reached for the .38-caliber revolver for which he has a carry permit, saying, "Are you sure you want to go through with this?" With that, the cowardly assailant fled. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, TX, 5/21/00)

1046. A Wade, Mississippi, family's worst nightmares came true when a man arrived at their home, pointed a shotgun at the father, and attempted to herd him, his wife, and their child inside. The quick-thinking couple fought back when the wife fled through another entrance and the husband ran to a bedroom to retrieve a gun. The intruder fled, but police soon apprehended the man on foot after an exchange of gunfire. The man was charged with three counts of attempted kidnaping. (The Mississippi Press, Pascagoula, MS, 3/19/00)

1047. When a 17-year-old robber wielding two butcher knives entered Jun Young Bok's Ogden, Utah, market one evening demanding money, the shopkeeper refused. Bok first attempted to match the threat with a golf club, but finally trumped the double-bladed menace with a handgun. Police arrived to find Bok holding the suspect at gunpoint. They arrested the youth and another 17-year-old who had acted as a lookout during the attempted robbery along with a 21-year-old getaway driver. (Standard-Examiner, Ogden, UT, 7/3/00)

1048. A Moreno Valley, California, homeowner who encountered a stranger outside his residence was shocked when the man, clad in a black hooded sweatshirt and baggy pants, lifted his shirt displaying a butcher knife in his waistband. According to authorities, the homeowner ran for the security of the home, but was unable to shut the door before the stranger forced his way inside. As the resident clambered up a flight of stairs, the intruder on his heels, he managed to grab a handgun from a hall table. His tormentor fled at the sight of the gun. (The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, CA, 5/18/00)

1049. A 13-year-old Sioux Falls, South Dakota, boy was sick at home one morning when an intruder apparently intent on committing a robbery invaded the residence through an unlocked sliding door. The masked man, who likely did not consider the boy a serious challenge, now stood before him brandishing a hammer. The intruder himself likely fell sick, however, when the boy grabbed a shotgun and called 9-1-1. In his apparent frustration, the home invader struck blows into several walls with the hammer before fleeing the residence. (Argus Leader, Sioux Falls, SD, 11/24/99)

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2000

1050. Wheelchair-bound Ocean Shores, Washington, resident was asleep at home when an apparent drunk toting a mass of uprooted blackberry bushes came inside and commenced a meandering soliloquy. The stunned homeowner-realizing the man's behavior was as dangerous as it was comic-cautiously trailed the man to the kitchen door. Once outside, the home invader attempted to come back in by kicking out a tall window that shattered with a bomb-like report. By then, the dumfounded resident had armed himself with a .22-caliber handgun. When his attacker picked up a five-gallon propane bottle and hurled it through yet another window-hitting the homeowner-the resident fired. Police later arrested the man who turned out to be a biker in town for a motorcycle gathering. Still alive, his chest bore a symbol more ominous than any tattoo: the wound from a .22-caliber bullet. (The Daily World, Aberdeen, WA, 7/31/00)

1051. Days after several men pistol-whipped Curtis Williams in the back yard of his Bessemer, Alabama, home and threatened his 82-year-old mother in a dispute about a stolen television set, one of the men came back for more. Williams, who walks with a cane, told police that as the man approached they exchanged words. "I warned him not to come forward," said Williams. But as he continued to advance, the man reached into a bag. That's when Williams fired a fatal shot from his .22 rifle. "I wasn't going to let them kill me and my mother." William's assailant had a criminal history that included convictions for robbery and assault. (The Birmingham News, Birmingham, AL, 5/6/00)

1052. A Greenback, Tennessee, resident found himself in a real-life version of the "Goldilocks" fable after returning to his home in the early morning hours. Lawrence L. Grindle told authorities he found a complete stranger asleep in a bed in his house. After quietly retrieving a rifle, Grindle trained it on the man until authorities arrived. Deputies had difficulty waking the still-slumbering man who was later charged with criminal trespassing and public intoxication. (The Daily Times, Maryville, TN, 7/4/00)

1053. In an effort to beat the summer heat, Leroy Weaver and his pregnant wife, Cynthia, decided to sleep in a basement recreation room of their Joliet, Illinois, home. When the couple realized there was an intruder in the house, Leroy Weaver quietly made his way to the office and armed himself with a .40 S&W-caliber Glock pistol. He then went after the brazen home invader. When he saw a man move in the dining room, he pointed the gun and shouted, "Hey you! Freeze!" before ordering the man to the floor. Police arrived to find the intruder held at gunpoint. Weaver said later of his trusty Glock, "I won't ever be without it." (The Herald News, Joliet, IL, 7/18/00)

1054. A physician barely escaped with his life when a man dived through a window in his Huntington Beach, California, home. When the intruder came to his feet, he stabbed the doctor in the hand with a small knife. "The victim was able to obtain a handgun ... and the victim's wife called police," said Huntington Beach police Lt. Luis Ochoa. Incredibly, even though the resident held his attacker at gunpoint until police arrived, the man reprised his stunt, breaking through another window, then fled on foot. Officers caught up soon after and arrested the man. (Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, CA, 6/23/00)

1055. According to police, a Daytona Beach, Florida, convenience store owner was behind his counter when Darrance Solomon Adams walked inside and demanded money shouting, "Give it up! Give it up!" The owner quickly locked the cash drawer then fumbled with the buttons in an attempt to convince Adams he couldn't open it. When a customer fled the scene, Adams became even more nervous and lunged at his prey with a serrated kitchen knife. The owner quelled the threat with several shots from a 9mm Luger handgun. Two proved fatal to Adams who had served time for assault and drug possession. (The News-Journal, Daytona Beach, FL, 7/20/00)

1056. Eighty-four-year-old William Harris was in his Southampton, New Jersey, home one morning when a man intent on burglary ripped out a back porch door screen and broke a chain on the kitchen door, according to police. When Harris, recovering in bed from cataract surgery, heard roommate Benjamin Davis yell out a warning, he grabbed his 16-gauge shotgun from a closet. When he met the intruder in the darkened kitchen, the man thought the better of his plan and fled. Davis later said of Harris, "He's not a pushover. He'll stand up as long as he can to whatever he has to." (Newsday, Melville, NY, 8/5/00)

1057. Shortly before 3 a.m. one Sunday, a West Central City, Utah, couple was awakened by the sounds of someone pounding on a glass door to their home. When the glass broke, an intruder made his way inside. According to the homeowner's son, "[The intruder] looked at my dad with death in his eyes and said, 'Adios, amigos.' They were terrified ... he came at them violently." One bullet from the man's .40-caliber handgun fatally struck the intruder. The son later remarked of his father, "I can't imagine him intentionally hurting another person, but what choice did he have?" (Deseret News, Salt Lake City, UT, 5/22/00)

JANUARY, 2001

1058. Answering a knock at the front door of his Jacksonville home late one night, a 49-year-old Floridian came face-to-face with a suspicious stranger asking to use his telephone. The resident, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, responded with a firm "No!" and told the unwelcome visitor to leave-punctuating his decision by slamming the door. But before the resident could return the peace and quiet of his 29-year-old intruder ran of the house and smashed in the kitchen door glass. The attacker's persistence would prove his undoing. After forcing his way inside, he confronted the resident who raised a handgun and fired a single, fatal shot. "Had he not had an equalizer, he would be a victim today," said the resident's brother after the attack. "I thank God for the right to bear arms." (The Times-Union, Jacksonville, FL, 5/6/00)

1059. When Joe Clark noticed several youths attempting to steal his Ford Bronco early one morning, he knew time was of the essence. Grabbing his .45-caliber handgun, a naked Clark ran to his vehicle. "I thought that grabbing my pants isn't going to save my life-my gun is," he commented later. Given Clark's Fu Manchu-style mustache, myriad piercings, and tattoo-imprinted body, the Forward Township, Pennsylvania, resident and proprietor of Tattoos by Booney Joe must have appeared quite the terror to the gang. "The cops said they never saw kids so scared in their life," said Clark of the suspects who were quickly apprehended. (Butler Eagle, Butler, PA, 4/20/00)

1060. Had Dennis Raymond Remont respected a court order preventing him from coming within 500 feet of his ex-girlfriend's Kent, Washington, house, he might still be alive. That document was of little comfort to the woman when he not only ignored the protection edict, but intentionally set out to do the woman harm. Remont realized he'd made a mistake, however, after arming himself with a butcher knife and forcing his way into her home. The woman had company and he was a force to be reckoned with. When the man's licensed firearm rang out, Remont's reign of terror was halted permanently. (Tri-City Herald, Kennewick, WA, 8/17/00)

1061. After a 77-year-old Aiken, South Carolina, man was awakened late one Friday night by a loud noise, he armed himself and quickly discovered an intruder inside his home. The elderly resident wasted no time in letting the man know he meant business. When he shot at the would-be crook, the man reportedly whimpered, "Please don't kill me!" before fleeing. (The Augusta Chronicle, Augusta, GA, 9/24/00)

1062. A 25-year-old woman made a desperate call for help to police around I a.m. after hearing someone beating on the door of her Portsmouth, Ohio, residence. When officers arrived, the woman told them that a man had been attempting to determine whether anyone was inside, and that had sent her scurrying for a gun. When she investigated and encountered the home invader standing in a side doorway, the woman raised her gun and threatened the stranger, sending him fleeing. The resident's heroic actions protected the life of her 6-year-old son who had been in the home all the while. (Daily Times, Portsmouth, OH, 9/25/00)

1063. Buffalo, New York, merchant Gary Flading was tending his Skyway Cleaners and Check Cashing business one Friday morning when a couple entered and feigned interest in cashing a check. Their true intentions became painfully apparent seconds later when the proprietor-cautious not to be "taken to the cleaners" figuratively, as well-asked for their signatures. Rather than producing a pen, the man pulled an electric stun gun and zapped Flading's right hand. The ruffian suffered an even greater shock, however, when Flading pulled his own "stun gun": a licensed revolver. The couple fled, but was caught by police a short time later. (The Buffalo News, Buffalo, NY, 10/7/00)

1064. Barking dogs alerted a 60-yearold Las Vegas resident to trouble one night, but before going to investigate, the man armed himself with a handgun. Opening the door to his den, he encountered an armed intruder standing only a few feet away. A fierce gun battle ensued in which the armed citizen came out on top. When police arrived, they chased and quickly captured a fleeing accomplice. Inside the house, they found a gun still in the dead man's hand. The home invader reportedly had a criminal record for burglary and battery. (Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas, NV, 7/19/00)

1065. The rhythmic pounding of an evening jog gave way to a pulse-pounding life-or-death struggle for a Tucson, Arizona, man who found himself the prey of a nefarious duo. As the resident jogged down a city street, two men-one armed with a 5-inch knife approached from behind and commenced an attack, according to police. After the knife-wielding assailant shouted a threat, the jogger fired his 9mm handgun. One assailant ended up at a local hospital while the other was treated to a stay in the Pima County Jail. The victim later stated, "At some point in their lives, people get involved in a violent situation. I figured it was bound to happen at some point. That's why I got a [gun] permit." (Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, AZ, 5/31/00)

FEBRUARY, 2001

1066. Labeling Richard Wayne Green "hardheaded" could only be considered truth in advertising. It seems the 32-year-old transient wasn't satisfied by his first attempt at breaking into a suburban Washington state home, so he returned several weeks later to try again. Unfortunately for Green-who had distressed an entire neighborhood with his black clothing, eye patch, and suspicious loitering-the second attempt would result in a major headache. When he pounded on the home's front door, a resident appeared and ordered him to leave. Green persisted, however, and went to the back door where he broke out a window and tried to get inside. The exasperated resident halted the threat with his .22-caliber handgun whose single shot struck his attacker immediately above the eyebrow. The bullet proved no match for Green's thick skull, though, and after a short stay at a hospital he was remanded to the local hoosegow. (South County Journal, Kent, WA, 9/21/00)

1067. Billy Frank Jackson and his elderly parents were in their North Carolina home when the electricity was shut off and the telephone went dead. As Jackson retrieved a gun, he was hit by a hail of pellets and doorknob fragments that exploded from a shotgun blast outside. Anticipating his attacker's next move, Jackson stationed himself by the garage door and fired once when he appeared. The wounded man dropped his shotgun as he retreated outside and fled. Investigations later led authorities to suspect a vacationing sheriff's deputy whom they allege was wearing a bullet-proof vest during the incident. "He truthfully saved our lives that night," said Cortel Jackson of his son, Billy Frank. "They were going to kill us and take everything we had." (The Daily Record, Dunn, NC, 5/10/00)

1068. A knife-wielding holdup man quickly lost his taste for ill-gotten gains on after attempting to rob the Vista, California, YumYum donut shop late one night. According to police detective Doug Hoffman, "The [robber] jumped over the counter and chased the cashier to the back of the store." The cashier then "grabbed a gun from the shelf and chambered a round." When he pointed it at the startled thug, the man threw up his hands and whimpered, "Hey, hey, it's okay, man!" before hightailing it out of the shop. (North Times, Oceanside, 10/3/00)

1069. The owner of a Brooklyn New York, card shop was "greeted" by two men who entered his store, pulled out guns, and announced a holdup. Fortunately, he had already suspected the duo was up to no good and was ready with his licensed, 9mm handgun. Several shots found their targets. The first gunman was hit four times and collapsed with critical wounds on the sidewalk in front of the store. The other man was hit once and fled, but soon afterward appeared at a local hospital where police arrested him. (New York Post, New York, NY, I0/10/00)

1070. It may have been the unusual "attire" worn by a prowler that caused an anonymous caller to tip off a Tyler, Texas, resident to an attempted break in. The trespasser made his way into the home's first floor-all the while wearing only his birthday suit-before the armed resident halted him and held him at gunpoint. "He was just standing there naked, and we arrested him for burglary," said police Lt. Tom Giorgio. Noting the lack of a getaway vehicle, Giorgio added, "He hadn't loaded anything up, and I don't know how he would have carried anything." (Tyler Morning Telegraph, Tyler, TX, 5/26/00)

1071. South Carolina convenience store clerk, John.Woodbury, was attending to a customer when he turned just in time to see a masked man raise a gun and fire. Unfortunately for the bandit, Woodbury had a gun of his own. Store owner Jeffrey Lee later said of the gun battle that followed: "I just thank God that none of my people and none of the customers were hurt ... I believe if it weren't for John, [the robber] would have killed everybody in there." Instead, the man's wounds prevented him from escaping police. Reflecting on the incident, Lee said, "I'm a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, and I have no problem with someone carrying a gun to work for protection." (Florence Morning News, Florence, SC, 10/10/00)

1072. After falling victim to a robber's gun in 1998, 70-year-old George Smith took steps to ensure his future defense along with that of his Shelbyville, Indiana, friends who owned the mom-and-pop variety store he frequented. Two years later, Smith was once again outside the store as two masked men burst on the scene. When one leveled a gun at him, Smith feigned a heart attack and fell to the floor. Seconds later, as the gunmen attempted to leave, Smith was ready. He fired on both would-be robbers, killing one and sending the other fleeing. One store owner said later, "We feel so sad. ... But who knows, he might have shot us both." (The Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis, IN, 5/20/00)

1073. The owner of a Vienna, Georgia, liquor store was surprised one night when a man entered, jumped over the counter, and pulled a 13-inch knife. As the robber forced the man to give up money from the cash register, a legitimate customer pulled up outside. While the bandit hid in a side room, the owner armed himself with a .3 80 ACP-caliber pistol. Seconds later, he sent the crook fleeing with a shot. Within an hour, police found the man in the back seat of a broken-down car with a wound to the groin. (The Cordele Dispatch, Cordele, GA, 9/12/00)

MARCH, 2001

1074. After Raymond and Cheryl Wojkielewicz pulled their Buick into a stall at a St. Petersburg, Florida, self-serve carwash, he got out and began vacuuming the back seat and their pet dogs' cage while she remained in the passenger's seat eating an ice cream bar. With the cool treat melting in her mouth and her thoughts lost in the din outside, Cheryl was startled when an armed man suddenly appeared at her window and demanded, "Give me your purse or I'll kill you!" When Raymond-who had been crouched out of sight-popped up, the man shot twice through the car. As his wife screamed, Raymond pulled a 9mm handgun, for which he has a carry permit, from his waistband and fired back. The attacker, now wounded, dropped the purse and bolted, but seconds later let loose another barrage when Raymond cautiously emerged from cover to scan the area. Finally, the would-be robber fled and was pursued by police. Wojkielewicz, who has legally carried his pistol concealed for two years, said, "This is the first time I've ever had to draw it." (St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, FL, 7/26/00)

1075. Seventy-nine-year-old businessman Ernest Ryan-who is known as the "Warden of Boardman Bridge" because of his protective attitude toward his own and neighboring businesses in New Milford, Connecticut-was in his radio store when two men, one armed with a shotgun, barged in and misted him with pepper spray. When Ryan, a Navy veteran and longtime gun permit holder, fought back by pulling his own firearm, the would-be bandits fled. "I've had break-ins before, but I've never looked down the barrel of a shotgun," said the shaken elderly hero. (The News-Times, Danbury, CT, 12/24/00)

1076. A vigilant West Side Chicago neighbor rescued a 4-year-old girl and her grandmother who were attacked by a pair of free-roaming pit bulls while taking a walk in the neighborhood. Hearing the victims' screams, the man armed himself, went outside, and fired on the animals. One died and the other was later destroyed by authorities. The girl suffered severe lacerations on her face, legs, and an ear and was later listed in good condition at a nearby hospital. The grandmother was treated for a wound to her knee and released. The dogs' owner was later charged with reckless conduct. (Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago, IL, 10/5/00)

1077. An Arizona prosecutor, awakened to noises in his home one morning, feared he was about to become the target of a gang-sanctioned "hit" as payback for his work in trying drug cases. In fact, the Prescott man was under attack not from assassins, but from burglars who had broken out a window on the lower floor and were attempting to steal his prized musical instruments. He was ready. "I had a .25 in the desk, and I got it out and racked it," he reported. When an intruder entered his bedroom and ignored the order to "freeze," the prosecutor fired. Police later tracked down several individuals suspected in a rash of burglaries in the area. One suffered from gunshot wounds to his buttocks, upper arm, and hand. "People can defend themselves, absolutely, if they feel that their lives or the lives of others are threatened," remarked Prescott Police spokesman Sgt. Shane Reed. (The Daily Courier, Prescott, AZ, 6/5/00)

1078. When a youth allegedly pulled a knife on two women-one of whom was pregnant-in Jamestown, New York, and threatened to cut them, neighbor Jeffery Moore became alarmed and decided to act. After going outside his house to investigate the ruckus, Moore returned to his house, instructed his wife to call police, and retrieved his licensed handgun. Moore reported that when he went back outside he heard the youth say, "I am going to cut you like a pig. I'm going to slice you up." He replied, "Step away...I have a gun. Get down on your knees and keep your hands where I can see them." Police arrived within a minute to find the neutralized attacker. "If I had not intervened, I don't know if they would have come out of this unscathed," said Moore regarding the women. (The Post-Journal, Jamestown, NY, 11/10/00)

1079. When a 67-year-old Mississippi woman thought she heard an intruder early one morning, she armed herself and went to investigate. Peering out the front door she saw no one. Then she pulled back the blinds in the front room and beheld "...a man with his shirt off with his face pressed against the window." When she inquired as to his presence, the intruder answered with a lewd comment. "I cocked it right then," said the intended victim and, "I pulled the trigger." The man was critically wounded in the neck. He had reportedly been released from a state penitentiary only months earlier after having pleaded guilty to strong-arm robbery. "If I hadn't, I might have gotten hurt," said the woman. "From what he said to me, he would have jumped on me to do just that." (The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, MS, 8/9/00)

1080. A Kelso, Washington, resident who answered a knock at his front door found a young man claiming that his friend had wrecked a car nearby and was asking to use the telephone. After the homeowner agreed the stranger made a call and then made his real intentions known: robbery. Apparently, he and several accomplices had targeted the home because they knew the resident owned firearms. What they hadn't counted on, however, was that one of those guns was at hand for exactly such a situation. When the homeowner leveled a hunting rifle at the intruder, the crook dropped his own gun and stood fast while police responded. "He was pretty bold," said Cowlitz County Sheriff's Dept. Sgt. Bruce Haebe of the homeowner. (The Daily News, Longview, WA, 11/28/00)

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