A devastating series of events too place in Gadsden (AL) early Monday morning, leaving a violent predator of a teenager dead, a woman traumatized and violated, and a community reeling in shock.

The resident, a 37-year-old woman, told police three men kicked in the front door, awakening her. One of the men came into her bedroom, put a gun to her head and raped her while the other two ransacked the home.

The two men left, but the robber assaulting her began beating her in the head with the gun and demanding money. The woman told her attacker that a neighbor down the street kept all her money. The robber then forced the woman down the street to the neighbor’s home on South 21st Street, the woman told police.

Once they walked there, the woman knocked and yelled for the neighbor’s attention, telling him she was being attacked. The neighbor, a 59-year-old man, looked out the window and called 911 to report a crime. The gunman yelled for the neighbor to get off the phone, shooting twice into the air. He then aimed his gun at the neighbor.

The neighbor fired one round at the offender, hitting him in the chest. The gunman ran a short distance, collapsed and died.

If it wasn’t for the cool head and accurate shooting of the neighbor, the victim might have ended up dead.

None of those involved incident have been named, and to the best we can determine, the other two home invaders remain on the loose.

From a Second Amendment perspective, we note two things in particular in this horrible story.

The first is that if the victim was able to access an operational firearm before the door could be breached, she might have had a decent chance of engaging the home invaders as they attempted to enter her room, stopping the sexual assault before it took place.

We don’t know if she simply didn’t have a gun, or if she had one but could not access it in time. It is our recommendation that if you are legally permitted to have firearms, that you should keep one in a keypad-operated or biometric safe that you can access quickly in emergencies, along with a tactical flashlight of at least 150 lumens. Temporarily blinded bad guys are easier to deal with.

The second observation we’d note is that the victim apparently took her rapist directly to someone that she either knew was armed, or suspected was armed. We don’t think this was an accident, and we’ll be interested to see if that detail becomes clear and released to the media as the investigation continues.

Shocking no one in this day and age, the mother of the violent criminal stood up for him, telling a local Fox affiliate that, “everything was being unfairly pinned on her son and that his name was being dragged through the mud.”

No, ma’am. You raised a monster, and the world is much better off without him.

Our prayers go out to the real victim.