Cory Gootee. Image via Facebook
Cory Gootee. Image via Facebook

A Stewartstown, Pennsylvania teen is very lucky that the door he kicked in belong to a competent and trained shooter who was confident that she knew how to handle herself with her pistol in a stressful situation. If he had tried this against an untrained shooter who didn’t have her skills and competence, he might have collected lead, instead of a life-saving warning:

A Glenville woman on Tuesday used a handgun to protect herself when a man kicked in the front door to her home, according to police.

Cory R. Gootee, 19, of Stewartstown, “became disoriented” after police believe he used some sort of “intoxicant” at a residence near the woman’s house in the 7700 block of Glenville Road.

Gootee told police he went outside to smoke a cigarette, thought he was locked out and later kicked in the woman’s door thinking he was at the house he had come from, according to a news release from Southwestern Regional Police.

The 31-year-old woman, who was home alone, reported that she first heard someone kicking at her front door. That led her to retrieve a handgun that she trains with regularly, police said. She also called 911 and advised a dispatcher that she believed a burglar was trying to break into her home.

Gootee eventually broke into the home, at which point the woman said she told him not to come any closer. He obeyed her order and an officer who arrived within four minutes of the initial 911 call found Gootee sitting on the front porch of a nearby house.

Another account shows that she didn’t even hold a grudge:

Their investigation determined he was visiting a friend who lives near the woman and became disoriented after leaving that the house to smoke a cigarette, police said. It appears Gootee thought he was kicking the door of his friend’s home, police said.

The victim told police she only wanted minor charges filed against Gootee, and wanted him to pay for door repairs, police said.

He was charged with misdemeanor criminal mischief, according to Bean.

Had the woman shot and killed the intruder, she would have had state law — commonly called castle doctrine — on her side, the chief said.

“Legally, you don’t have to ask questions,” Bean said. “But she took the time to try to understand what was happening (despite the fact) she definitely was in fear for her safety.”

I honestly don’t see how she could have played this situation out any better.

The gun owner armed herself, called 911 and explained the situation, and then did what is typically the hardest part of a defensive gun use: she kept her cool, and took control of the situation. She assessed the threat posed by Gootee, gave him verbal commands, and held fire as he complied.

This young man owes this young woman his life, and should perhaps reconsider his use of mind-altering substances.

wrong girl
The unnamed gun owner’s story reminds me of Glock’s commercial, “Wrong Girl.”

He’s a very lucky young man.