Eighteen-year-old Sarah McKinley and her 3-month-old son were unharmed when two intruders tried to break into their home outside of Oklahoma City on New Year’s Eve. Her husband had died from lung cancer on Christmas Day, and when she realized intruders were attempting to break into her home she had nothing to do but grab her 12-gauge shotgun and pistol, and call 911.
She spoke with the operator for 21 minutes, making sure she had the right to shoot if the men forced their way in.
“I can’t tell you that you can do that, but you do what you have to do to protect your baby,” the dispatcher told her as she held the infant with a bottle, according to KOCO.
She ultimately pulled the trigger.
One of the men, 24-year-old Justin Martin, McKinley is believed to have been stalking her since her husband’s death. ABC news reports that McKinley barricaded herself in her bedroom with the baby and guns. When Martin kicked down the bedroom door, McKinley’s maternal instincts kicked in:
“When Martin kicked in the door and came after her with the knife, the teen mom shot and killed the 24-year-old. Police are calling the shooting justified.
‘You’re allowed to shoot an unauthorized person that is in your home. The law provides you the remedy, and sanctions the use of deadly force; Det. Dan Huff of the Blanchard police said.”
Martin died and the second suspect, Dustin Stewart, currently sits in jail. Investigators are searching Martin’s car for evidence that the home invasion was premeditated, KFOR-TV reported.
“I wouldn’t have done it, but it was my son,” McKinley told KOCO. “It’s not an easy decision to make, but it was either going to be him or my son. And it wasn’t going to be my son. There’s nothing more dangerous than a woman with a child.”