Pritchard, Alabama—north of Mobile—has been a town in decline for more than 50 years, a sort of southern “mini-Detroit.” Those who can get out, have, and those left behind have had to deal with the sort of crime that is typical in a dying community.
63-year-old grandmother Phyliss Law knows the threats of living in such a community, and was prepared to defend herself when she heard a burglar breaking into her home. Law went to her room and grabbed her 9mm pistol and a spare magazine as her granddaughter hid in a closet and then (against the advice of every self-defense trainer I know) she moved closer towards the living room:
Phyliss Law says this is the second time she’s been burglarized. She said during the last incident she had jewelry and electronics stolen.
[W]e heard this crackling… Like wood popping and stuff. I said oh my [G]od. He trying to come in. So I backed up to my room and got my gun and got my extra clip,” Law said.
She was hoping the suspect would go away. Instead, Law said he came closer.
“Next thing I know, he hit the lights and put all the lights on and I’m saying to myself, ‘This person been here before to know where all my lights at,'” she said. “This is ridiculous. He just comes strolling walking around. By the time… He was right here I saw the blue jogging basketball pants he was wearing. And when he got there I jumped up and just start shooting. I have no idea where I hit him. He fell right there on the floor there.”
Law surprised the burglar, and dropped him by bouncing a 9mm FMJ round off his head as she practiced what sounded like panicked point shooting.
It sounds like she made a very dangerous mistake in moving out to confront the intruder, but she managed to surprise him by going prone as he approached, and then popping up in ambush.
Law then nearly managed to get herself killed as local law enforcement arrived, exiting her home with her pistol in one hand and her identification in the other. Luckily, officers held their fire, Law followed commands to drop her weapon, and she was handcuffed until the scene was secure and officers could differentiate between the lawful and the lawless.
The shot burglar survived, but his exact condition is not known at this time. His accomplice was arrested near the scene.
Both are juveniles.