Woman fires at home burglars: 'I let loose on them'

Holly Fournier and George Hunter
The Detroit News

Detroit — Five men who broke into Dietta Gueye's east side home early Tuesday morning got more than they bargained for when the 34-year-old woman opened fire at them with the 9 mm Glock she keeps by her bedside.

"They weren't ready for that 9 I had," she chuckled from a lawn chair in front of her house hours after the home invasion.

One of the men shot back and hit Gueye in the right thigh. But after treatment at a local hospital, she said she felt fine.

"I'm kind of just a little sore," she said. "I'm OK, though."

The incident is the second this week in which a woman with a concealed pistol license opened fire on criminals in Detroit. On Monday, a 27-year-old woman shot a 16-year-old would-be carjacker in the arm.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig made national headlines last year when he said "good Americans" with concealed weapons licenses could lower the crime rate, because it would make criminals reluctant to attack them.

Gueye believes the five men who broke into her house Tuesday likely will think twice before doing it again.

"I hope they take this as a lesson," she said. "Beware, because you never know if someone you're trying to hurt is packing."

Gueye said she was asleep Tuesday morning in her home in the 12400 block of Whitehill when she heard a tap at her window. "I didn't know what it was; I thought maybe kids were out playing and hit the window with a rock," she said.

She glanced at the clock: It was 2:37 a.m.

"Then I heard a second tap — then glass shattering," she said. "I pulled back the blinds, and to my surprise there was a man with a gun standing there."

Gueye recalled advice she received years ago, when a tax office she worked at was robbed. "They told me if someone has a gun on you, don't make any quick movements," she said. "So I kind of slid out of bed. That's when he came through the window.

"Luckily, my purse was on top of my gun, and he didn't see me go for it. I reached under the purse and felt the barrel. Then — oh boy! — here come three ... through the window, and two through the other window. Two of them had guns."

The next few seconds were a blur, Gueye said.

"I just let loose on them. I fired four shots and they scattered."

Standing in her bedroom, she weighed whether to go through the doorway toward the living room to investigate. "My instinct told me not to come out of my room," she said. "So I just stood there with the door open."

One of the men who was still in the house fired a single shot, striking her in the right thigh before fleeing.

The only bullet hole found was from the shot that struck Gueye, she said.

"They're telling me that means I probably hit them, since there aren't any other bullet holes in the house," she said.

The intruders were described as five men 18-22 years old, Detroit Police Officer Jennifer Moreno said. "There's no indication that she knew the suspects," she said.

Police said the incident is still under investigation.

Gueye said the men probably thought her house was an easy target because it is next to an empty field, amid several abandoned homes.

"They weren't ready for me to defend myself," she said. "If I didn't have that gun, who knows what would've happened? Torture, beating. There were five of them."

Gueye was taken to St. John Hospital and released hours later.

Someone broke into Gueye's home three years ago, said her fiance, Matthew Greason.

"The first time, we weren't there. (The house) was ramshackled," he said. "That's when I got two dogs."

Greason, 37, lives with his fiancée but was not home when the break-in occurred, he said. Gueye's brother texted him around 4 a.m. with news of the incident.

"She's fine, that's the main thing," he said. "She's OK."

Gueye's mother, Diane Swift, was still emotional nearly 12 hours after the incident.

"It's terrible people have to live like that; violated in their own homes," she said. "That's scary. We're dealing with a different species of people out here."

While her mother expressed fear the men would come back, Gueye shrugged it off.

"Once you've been violated, you'll always think in the back of your mind they might come back," she said. "If they do, I'll be ready for them.

"I've lived here for 51/2 years. They aren't going to scare me out, even though my family is nervous."

Gueye, who survived cancer two years ago, said she got her CPL in 2012 after the first break-in, and also because she owns two businesses, Certified Option Tax Service and Phat Girlz R' Uz, a resale shop for plus-sized women.

"I want to use this to let women know they have to get serious about getting their (concealed pistol license)," she said. "Some men — not all, but some — are hounds.

"Women need to protect themselves. Don't be scared in your own home. That's your territory."


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