RENO, NV - Two burglars caught in the act as a Reno woman returns home from work. They were surprised to find she was armed. Among the items the thieves were trying to take were a couple of guns, so the tables could have turned in an instant.
The victim was shocked when she walked in to find the crooks collecting her belongings. She ran back to her car to get her gun. The victim says she was on her property when she fired two shots at one of the men. As he took off running, she admits, she chased him down the street screaming profanities. That man escaped on foot. The other got away in older model beige sedan. Police say all the property the crooks intended to take was left behind during their sudden escape.
Gun safety expert Vicki Kawelmacher says it's important for women to think about personal safety. "Most men don't wake up and think, 'I might be raped today, something might happen to me today' but as a woman, we have to think about that and we have to think about that everyday."
She says she got a wakeup call in 2007 when her daughter was the target of a child abduction. While she encourages women to learn about guns and get their CCW, she understands not everyone is comfortable with that idea. "I am going to advocate guns, because gun must go up against gun" she says, "but if you're not ready to carry a gun, lets look at other options because there are plenty of things that you can do to minimize your chances of becoming a statistic."
Regarding the incident on Hedgewood Drive, many of us would have done the same, but Kawelmacher advises her student to use caution. "You don't go out of your home and fire your gun as they are fleeing."
In 2002, in the State V. Weddel, the Nevada Supreme Court determined that a private citizen may not use deadly force under the common law fleeing felon rule. That means a homeowner should not shoot at a retreating criminal outside of the home. In this case, neighbors say they support the homeowner's actions and would have taken aim at the would-be burglars as well.