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Gun-toting Omaha woman holds intruder at bay until police can arrive

Barbara Haley

Posted: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 11:42 am

Beware, Omaha burglars. Barbara Haley will bring the heat if you force her hand.

The 52-year-old Omaha woman, packing a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun, held off a would-be thief who had worked his way into her home near 70th and Farnam Streets early Tuesday by admonishing him to stay in her bedroom closet until police arrived.

“I told him: “I will blow your (expletive) head off,’’’ Haley said. “I said: ‘I WILL shoot you.’ ’’

A 24-year-old man was taken into custody shortly after 3 a.m. Police said he was booked on suspicion of burglary.

Haley said her husband gave her a quick quiz on how to use the handgun before he went out of town.

“He told me: ‘If you have to use it, you want to use it right,’ ’’ Haley said.

Officer Kevin Wiese, a police spokesman, said that if residents have firearms, they should be trained on how to properly use them within the law.

He said that in such a situation, it’s also important to clearly communicate with officers upon their arrival because they are unlikely to know who lives in the home and who the suspects are.

It’s tough to recommend what to do when faced with an intruder because every situation is different, Wiese added Tuesday.

However, if it’s possible to safely get away, call 911 and get police there as soon as possible, he said.

Last week, an Omaha man shot an intruder in his home near 34th and Cuming Streets.

James Jackson, 73, fired on a man he spotted entering his home through a broken front picture window early on Aug. 26. Jackson said he fired one round that grazed the man’s torso, and the injured man stepped back outside through the window and waited on the porch for police to arrive. Jackson said the man was bleeding from the gunshot wound and cuts from the broken glass.

In Tuesday's incident, Haley said she awoke about 2:40 a.m., and her 8-year-old pitbull-mix began barking and sniffing along a hallway. She grabbed the handgun and checked her house. She found drawers pulled, gift cards tossed onto a floor and other items rifled but nobody in the house. She and the dog went back to bed.

“Then I heard a loud crash, and I knew somebody was in the house,’’ Haley said. “Next, I saw his hands coming out of my (bedroom) closet.’’

Armed with the handgun, Haley issued her threat to the intruder without seeing his face, and she called 911.

The man began begging her to ease off, saying that he knew her.

“I told him to shut up,’’ she said. “I cocked the gun so he could hear it, and I told him to stay in the closet.’’

She let police in, held back the pitbull-mix and told the man: “Don’t move.’’

“I assume that he had been in my house for about 30 minutes,’’ Haley said, guessing that he came in through an unlocked back door.

She said her backyard is bordered by a large privacy fence and the dog is let in and out frequently through the unlocked door.

“I will lock it now,’’ Haley said.

She said her husband praised her bravery.

“He was quite proud of me,’’ she said. “He said he never had any doubt that I could do it (use the handgun).”

“I’m glad I had that gun,’’ Haley said. “And I’m thinking they (burglars) won’t try this again anytime soon.’’

Source: http://www.omaha.com/news/crime/gun-toting-omaha-woman-holds-intruder-at-bay-until-police/article_204f68e0-32c0-11e4-8905-0017a43b2370.html?mode=story

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