A young Oklahoma mother shot and killed an intruder on New Year’s Eve after the advisement of a 911 operator, and police say she was well within her right to do so.
The mother, 18-year-old Sarah McKinley, was home alone with her 3-month-old son on New Year’s Eve when two men tried to break into her home, one with a 12-inch hunting knife.
The man with the knife was Justin Martin. McKinley told KOCO News that he had come to her home the day after her husband’s funeral claiming to be a neighbor but she did not let the man in. Martin returned on New Year’s Eve with another man, Dustin Stewart.
McKinley called the police when she saw one of the men going from door to door looking to enter the home. She gave her baby a bottle, retrieved her 12-gauge and pistol, and called the police. During the call, she asked the dispatcher what she could legally do to protect herself.
“I’ve got two guns in my hand- is it okay to shoot him if he comes in this door?” she asked the dispatcher according to KOCO. “I’m here by myself with my infant baby, can I please get a dispatcher out here immediately?”
The dispatcher told her that she was not advised to shoot anyone. She asked McKinley if her doors were locked and McKinley said they were. The dispatcher then advised the 18-year-old mother that if the intruder entered the home, she should do whatever she could to protect her child.
“I can't tell you that you can do that but you do what you have to do to protect your baby,” the dispatcher said. Police say the woman was within her rights to shoot Martin.
"You're allowed to shoot an unauthorized person that is in your home. The law provides you the remedy, and sanctions the use of deadly force," said Detective Dan Huff of the Blanchard police according to abcnews.com.
The second man, Dustin Stewart, soon turned himself in to police.
McKinley is a widowed mother whose husband died on Christmas day. She expressed regret for the killing but added that it was either the perpetrator or her son and she chose her son.