Memphis woman says she was forced to shoot naked intruder after attack

(AP Photo/Adrian Sainz)

A Memphis restaurant owner is speaking out after shooting an intruder at her place of business late Monday night, telling reporters that she had no choice but to defend herself and her family when the naked man refused to leave and instead attacked her and her loved ones.


The incident unfolded at the Mr. Potato Head restaurant late Monday evening when the man wearing nothing but sneakers managed to make his way inside the shop, only to find himself unable to get out because of the building’s self-locking doors. The restaurant owner says the man became “enraged” by the locks on the doors and began damaging property before punching the woman in the chest.

“I was just afraid of his strength,” she said. “I’m pointing at him, asking him to calm down and stay away or get out of the store which the door was jammed, and he had no way out, so therefore I was between a rock and a hard place, and I just did what I had to do,” she said.

According to the woman, she fired one shot at the man when he charged her and shot him again when he picked up a chair to throw at his sister.

“It’s just a scary sight, and I know that people are saying what they could’ve done, what they would’ve done, but until you’re in a situation, you never know what you will do, especially when the fear hits you. You never know what you’re going to do. He was a big guy, big enough to hurt me,” she said.

The woman’s sister, who began live streaming after the shooting, said the man was like a lion locked in a cage. She reported when they called the police, the naked man was on the ground, and she and her sister and brother were still locked inside the restaurant.

She said she went on Facebook to let loved ones know what was happening.

“If the police came in and arrested us or anything, my family needed to know. Somebody needed to know where we were or what was going on with us.”

The restaurant owner says she was detained by police at the scene but isn’t currently facing charges, which seems appropriate. While the naked man may not have been armed, he still posed a deadly threat to the woman and her family once he started assaulting her and she was well within her rights to protect herself and her loved ones.
“I’m not a monster. I would never hurt anybody purposely. I just fear for my life and just did what I thought I was supposed to do,” she said. “I didn’t want him to die or anything like that. I just didn’t wanna be the one my mom had to claim to identify.”
I’ve said it before but it bears repeating. I don’t know any gun owner who is eager for the chance to use their gun in self-defense. That’s the last thing that we want, but we’re cognizant of the fact that it’s not up to us to decide if we’re the target of a home invasion, a carjacking, or, in this case, someone who’s not in their right mind acting violently.
I’m sure that this defensive gun use will weigh heavily on the armed citizen, but it truly sounds like she did the right thing in acting to defend the lives of those inside that restaurant, including her own. She tried to de-escalate the situation, warned him that she was armed, and only when he continued his attack did she pull the trigger. It’s a shame that this incident escalated to the use of deadly force, but it’s the suspect who’s to blame, not the business owner just trying to close up for the night and make it safely home to her family.

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