SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - A 17-year-old north Washington state girl protected herself and her home with her dad's gun when a suspected car thief on the run from authorities came into her house.
"Your heart feels like it is going out of its chest. I couldn't breathe well, but I knew I had to," Kimber Wood said.
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They say your gut is your strongest muscle, and for Wood, that message rang true Monday morning.
"I was laying in bed watching TV and my boyfriend called my parents. They warned me," Wood said.
She asked her dad for a gun, put it under her pillow and went back to sleep -- until she heard the screen door open.
"I heard it close, and that just doesn't happen. I knew something was wrong," Wood said.
Her gut told her to grab the gun, so she did, and she waited.
"I heard footsteps and he went upstairs," Wood said.
She called her dad, who taught her everything she knows about guns, and he stayed with her on the phone as the footsteps got closer to her room.
"I was laying right there on the bed and he came in and that's when I crawled out go get the gun from my pillow (and I) sat back there," Wood said.
That's when the unthinkable happened.
"He popped in and I said, 'Who the **** are you?' His head was right there. I had the gun straight in his face and he ran," Wood said.
Wood followed him out through the same screen door he came in and watched him down the barrel of her gun.
"I knew I wanted to be as close to him as I could, and your hands are shaking, but you know you have to have a steady aim," Wood said.
And then she pulled the trigger.
"I fired a shot at him because I didn't want him back," Wood said.
She didn't aim to hit him; she said she aimed to scare him away. And with no neighbors around, Wood waited for what felt like hours until her parents got back.
But they weren't alone.
"When I found out a 17-year-old defended herself I thought, 'That's fantastic,'" a representative of the Spokane County Sheriff's Department said.
As for her own dad, proud is an understatement.
"That is something you teach the kids. Lessons we went over, and over, and you think they'll never have to use them, and today proved that they did and it worked," Wood's father said.
The reality is still hanging in the air like gunsmoke.
"I didn't want him here. That isn't his place to be," Wood said.
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