66 Year Old Woman Shoots and Kills Home Intruder

An elderly Northern California-woman woke early Friday morning to hear an intruder attempting to break into her home. CBS 12 reports that the 66-year-old Donna Hopper is still shaken after shooting the 37-year-old intruder dead:

“The 66-year-old Donna Hopper was visibly upset when Action News spoke with her outside her home this morning.

She did not want to talk on camera but says even though she does not know that man, she feels horrible that someone died at her hands.”

Hopper says she was terrified when she heard the intruder at her her door, firing two warning shots through her window to scare the man away. When 37-year-old Jesse Edward Theis persisted, attempting to come back in, Hopper fired a fatal shot in his abdomen, killing Theis on the scene.

66 Year Old Woman Shoots and Kills Home Intruder

Hopper told CBS 12 that she never wanted to hurt anyone, and that she was just acting on instinct.

The Record Searchlight of Redding, CA, where the crime took place, writes that prosecutors say Hopper’s actions were justified:

“‘He meant her lethal harm,’ Shasta County Chief Deputy District Attorney Josh Lowery said. An official determination won’t be made until the DA’s office has a chance to review police and autopsy reports, Lowery said. An autopsy will likely be performed Monday.

Local officials say the shooting is yet another example of how inmates at the continually full Shasta County jail are being released early and going out and committing more crime, sometimes within hours of their release.”

The Searchlight reports that Theis had been released from jail the morning before the shooting took place.

Hopper’s chilling description of the events on CBS News with the 9-1-1 dispatcher who was on the line with her during the ordeal: