Whether he lives in a mansion or a shack, a man’s home is his castle. And while no neighborhood is free from the threat of criminal violence, some areas tend to see a higher crime rate than others.
Here are 11 occasions when trailer park residents used their privately owned firearms to save their own lives and the lives of others.
Seeing a stranger enter the yard of his hurricane-damaged Pensacola, Fla., home, 77-year-old James Workman left the trailer he and his wife were living in to confront him. The man, however, managed to force his way into the trailer, where Workman grabbed him and a struggle ensued. Workman was able to reach a gun, fire and fatally shoot the intruder. (Tallahassee Democrat, Tallahassee, Fla., 11/5/04)
After a woman entered a laundry room at the trailer park where she lived, she was approached by an unfamiliar man who inquired whether she had a boyfriend or husband and suggested he come to her trailer “for a beer.” The woman asked to be left alone and left the room, but the man followed. When he called out to her from behind, she turned and the man exposed himself to her. The woman, fearing she could be raped, pulled a handgun from her laundry basket and fired a shot. Police later charged the man with stalking. No charges were filed against the woman, whom police said had a legal right to shoot in self-defense. (Boca Raton News, Boca Raton, Fla., 7/28/98)
The sound of forced entry was becoming all too familiar to Ella Madrueno. Her morning was disturbed by someone breaking into her Surprise, Ariz., trailer home for the second time in two months. She confronted the burglar and wounded him with her revolver. He was later arrested by police, only to escape while undergoing medical treatment. (The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, Ariz., 6/20/90)
Rheta Plott and her daughter drove up to the daughter’s Opelika, Ala., mobile home to find a man removing her belongings. The man offered to put the things back, but the daughter said she was calling police. After an accomplice came around the corner of the trailer and shot at the women; Plott pulled her handgun and returned fire, shattering the rear window of a car as the men drove away. A search that involved five local and state agencies netted two suspects, who were charged with burglary. (The Ledger-Enquirer, Columbus, Ga., 4/6/89)
Brandishing a knife, a masked man forced his way into Donna Sellars’ McMinnville, Tenn., trailer. He ordered her to go into a bedroom and disrobe, and she faked compliance while picking up a pistol. Sellars shot the would-be rapist as he entered the bedroom. A suspect was caught at a nearby trailer by police. (The Southern Standard, McMinnville, Tenn., 6/11/86)
A Houston County, Ala., woman was alone in her trailer when a man kicked in the door and stormed inside. The woman shot the invader between the eyes with a .22-cal. handgun, and he died a few hours later. Police arriving on the scene discovered a pistol on the dead man. (The Post-Herald, Birmingham, Ala., 9/6/83)
When her dog began barking, Cecilia Cates decided to retrieve her .22-cal. rifle from the bedroom of her Moon Lake, Fla., trailer and investigate. Suddenly an intruder attacked her with a razor, inflicting severe cuts on her arms. She managed to get off a single shot from the rifle that hit the man in the thigh, putting him to flight. (The Tribune, Pasco, Fla., 6/1/82)
Minnie Storer and her husband, both 77, returned to their Sacramento, Calif., trailer home one evening to find a youthful burglar inside. When the hoodlum began to beat her husband, Mrs. Storer pulled a .38-cal. revolver from a chair and fired, hitting the assailant in the abdomen. (The Union, Sacramento, Calif., 3/1/82)
James Whitley spotted two men climbing a fence near his Starke, Fla., trailer and went to investigate, armed with a shotgun. He chased the pair into some underbrush, where one escaped. But Whitley held his confederate, a prison escapee, for police. The criminal was making his third escape attempt. (The Sentinel-Star, Orlando, Fla., 4/22/81)
Two juvenile delinquents on a crime spree entered the Loveland, Colo., trailer home of James R. Love. Convinced the pair planned to use their shotguns on his family, Love attacked with his bare fists, distracting the hoodlums long enough for the homeowner to make an escape to his pickup truck. There, Love reached for a rifle and fired into the air, frightening the young criminals into surrender. (The Coloradan, Fort Collins, Colo., 3/1/77)
An early morning burglar alarm ringing in William Parsons’ Sells, Ariz., trailer home alerted him that something was amiss in his Quijotoa Trading Post store next door. Armed with a rifle, Parsons charged into the store and found two men stuffing Native American jewelry into a sack. When one hoodlum yelled, “Get him,” Parsons shot and killed one of them. The second intruder lunged through a plate glass window and got away. (The Tucson Daily Citizen, Tucson, Ariz., 2/1/75)