Detroit — Three teens face home invasion charges after trying to break into a west side house, only to flee when the homeowner, a mother of two, pulled out her 19-caliber rifle and opened fire.
The incident, which happened at about 7:30 pm Monday in the 7400 block of Woodrow Wilson, was captured on surveillance video, which shows one teen kicking in the door of the house, while two of his companions linger a few feet away.
Once the door is kicked open, the three teens, ages 14, 14 and 15, enter the house — only to scamper out a few seconds later amid the sound of gunfire.
The homeowner warned the teens she was armed before they entered the house, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said.
“She advised the suspects she was armed with a gun, but they indicated they didn’t believe her,” Craig said.
“She fired shots to protect her children. None of the shots took effect.
“I believe she did the right thing,” said Craig, who has repeatedly said he thinks legally armed citizens can deter crime. “It sends a message.”
As the trio fled, one of them dropped what turned out to be a fake handgun in the snow. The boy retrieved the faux pistol and is seen on the video stumbling toward the door before bolting when the homeowner again opened fire.
Police have not released the video.
The woman’s children, ages 6 and 7, were upstairs during the incident, police said.
“They said they didn’t want the (teens) to steal their piggy bank,” Detroit Police Sgt. Michael Woody said.
Police quickly arrested three suspects, who were arraigned in juvenile court on home invasion and weapons charges. Woody said their names or pictures can’t be released because of their ages. One of the boys posted bond, while the other two remain in custody.
Two of the teens had a history of home invasions in the neighborhood, Craig said.