January 15, 2003

HERE’S A STORY FROM PITTSBURGH about a woman who chased off an intruder by brandishing a gun:

Hall stared at him and thought, “I’m not going to make this easy for you.” She decided that if the man thought she already had the gun, she needed to use that to her advantage.

“The way the house was made, if I’d let him get any closer, I’d be trapped,” Hall said. “So I grabbed my daughter under my arm, like a football or a sack of potatoes, and then came around the corner and charged. I ran over him, through him, I don’t know what.”

Once upstairs, Hall reached high into a closet for the gun her father had given her several years ago, after an elderly woman who lived across the street was murdered. She grabbed a cordless telephone, too, and called 911 as she went back downstairs with the gun.

When Tompkins saw her, he fled back out the broken window.

Police responding to the scene spotted a suspect running through some yards in the neighborhood and arrested Tompkins, a native of Queens, N.Y., whose criminal record dates to 1992, with 12 cases, including robbery, simple assault, reckless endangerment and drug charges.

Tompkins told officers he was covered with cuts on his hands and face because he had dived headfirst through Hall’s window. When they arrested him, police found a 7-inch black-handled knife and a 4-inch metal crack pipe.

He turns out to have stabbed a homeowner in a previous burglary. This reminds me of an earlier incident in Pittsburgh a few months back, when an armed woman shot a serial rapist who had been eluding police. Good thing this wasn’t Britain, or Ms. Hall might be dead now.

Yeah, I know, this is a lot of gun posts today. I guess the Washington Monthly piece got me noticing this stuff again.

UPDATE: Ahh, why fight it? Here’s a story on the Orange County Pink Pistols.