May 13 2016

Granny With A Gun: 80-Year-Old Shoots Home Intruder

Barb Moles; self defense

An 80-year-old woman shot and killed a home intruder late last month after he stabbed and beat her husband. Barb Moles was in her Washington home with her husband, John, and adult son when she reported hearing a commotion around 8:30pm on April 28. When she went to check out the source of the noise, she found her husband on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood. He told her he had been stabbed and Moles raced down the hall to retrieve the .38 revolver her husband had given her for Christmas.

The grandmother of eight and great grandmother of three told local reporters that she waited in the bedroom for the intruder, expecting him to follow her. When he didn’t come, she stepped into the hallway, where she reports she could hear him rummaging through the bathroom medicine cabinet. However, before she could do anything else, the man came around the corner and she wound up face to face with 25-year-old Steven Sheppard, a felon who had done time for robbery in 2013. Moles told authorities she shot once, hitting Sheppard; however, he didn’t go down. Instead the man charged at her, and she shot three more times.

Sheppard had no known connections with the family. Police believe he had broken into the home searching for prescription drugs, as he was found with several pill bottles and Moles reports he had spilled her vitamins all over the floor.

According to authorities, Moles’s 75-year-old husband had also been beaten in the head with a crowbar, possibly suffering a concussion. After the incident, he was airlifted to a local hospital, where he underwent surgery and is still listed as stable but in critical condition. The family reports that the doctors estimate he is facing a six month recovery.

Barb’s granddaughter Morgan has set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for medical bills, repairs, and new security around the home. On the page, the family has provided a detailed account of the events of that evening, as well as updates on John’s medical condition.

Moles told KOMO News that while she never expected she would ever have to take a life, she would not hesitate to do it again. “You know how mothers are with their kids,” she said. “That’s the way I am with my husband. I just protect his back. I’m not just the typical granny – in case you haven’t noticed.” She added, “I just did what I had to do and I’m so sorry for [the intruder’s] family. I just feel badly for his family.” However, she believes that if she hadn’t acted, she, her son, and her husband would all be dead.

Shari Ireton, a spokeswoman for the Snohomish County Sheriff, says that the shooting is “under investigation.” However, the case has not yet been sent to the prosecuting attorney, who would decide if any charges are to be filed. According to Washington State law, deadly force may be used in self defense or in the defense of another individual when inside the home. If charges are brought upon an individual and they are found not guilty by reason of self defense, the state will reimburse all legal fees and other expenses related to the case.

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