A mother of three in South Carolina sprang into action to protect her family when she heard a strange man trying to break into her home.
Ashley Jones told FOX Carolina she heard someone banging on her door early Thursday morning and peeked out the window to see who it was. After calling out to see who was there, Jones said she heard voices near her front door. That’s when she grabbed her gun and dialed 911.
“I yelled, ‘I have a gun, I will shoot you, get away from my house,’” Jones recalled.
The gun-toting mom said she spotted a man in a red shirt knocking on the window near her door. She said the man and a second suspect then made their way to the back of the house and tried entering a back door before coming back around to the front.
Shots rang out moments later when Jones said the intruder kicked down her door and attempted to enter her home. Home surveillance captured the harrowing encounter.
“Something just came over me, and I got calm,” she said. “My heart slowed down and I got focused … I told myself if he comes in here, you cannot let him get past your doorstep. You have three young children to protect.”
Jones said she pulled the trigger, hitting the man. He tried to run off, but police had arrived to the scene by that time.
Authorities later identified the suspect as 42-year-old Cecil Charles Parnell of Anderson, S.C. The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office said Parnell was treated at a local area hospital for non life-threatening injuries. He’s now charged with first-degree burglary.
As for the woman who was with Parnell, she won’t face charges, according to Detective Nikki Carson. Investigators added that a neighbor reported the same woman and a man had banged on her door earlier that morning before 6 a.m, attempting to get in.
Jones said “I would’ve killed him if I had to” if Parnell had tried to take another step in her home. Although she was hesitant about owning a firearm at first, the mom said she’s glad she was armed because she might not have been able to fight off the intruder. Jones’ three young children were asleep in their rooms when the attack unfolded.
“[If] I didn’t have any kind of weapons I don’t know what I would have did. That guy was kind of big,” she told FOX Carolina. “I never thought I would have to shoot that gun, ever.”
Police say there appears to be no connection between the suspects and the homeowner. Parnell is currently being held at the the Anderson County Detention Center with no bail.
Watch more in the video below.