66 Year old Woman Kills Intruder

This is a true story – AND this woman is recently widowed, and is my friend!

You may have heard that some prisoners in California are getting an early release from prison because our prisons are “too crowded”. Well, they are getting early releases in my town, Redding. Our county jail is releasing some inmates early…..and many are going out and committing more crime; sometimes within hours of their release.

This man had been released from the Shasta County jail, the morning prior to the shooting after he was arrested Thursday on suspicion of obstructing a public officer, and trespassing – both misdemeanors.

Capt. Don Van Buskirk, the jail’s top administrator, said the man, Theis, was released before posting $6,000 bail because the jail was at capacity. Because jailers have limited bed space, every day they’re required to release those they determine to be the least-risky inmates in order to stave off overcrowding. Obviously this wasn’t a great choice.

This is what happened. My comments will be ALL CAPS and BOLD.

“A 66-year-old woman who shot and killed an intruder early this morning in south Redding after he tried to break into her home appears to have been justified, prosecutors say.The Shasta County coroner’s office identified the man this afternoon as Jesse Edward Theis, 37, of Redding.

Donna Hopper had first fired warning shots at the suspect after she was woken by the sound of him trying to break into her Branstetter Lane bedroom window just before 4 a.m., Shasta County Chief Deputy District Attorney Josh Lowery said.”

SHE HEARD SOMEONE YELLING, “LET ME IN” AND BANGING ON THE FRONT DOOR. SHE STOOD TO THE SIDE IN CASE HE HAD A GUN AND ASKED WHO IT WAS. “IT’S JEFF”, THE STRANGER SAID. DONNA WAS ON THE PHONE WITH 911 AT THE TIME AND STAYED ON THE PHONE THE WHOLE TIME. THAT IS PART OF WHAT SAVED HER FROM BEING SUSPECT OF ANYTHING OTHER THAN SELF-DEFENSE…THEY HEARD IT ALL.

SHE ACTUALLY TOLD HIM SHE DIDN’T KNOW HIM AND TO GO AWAY. SHE TOLD HIM SHE WAS GETTING HER GUN. SHE DID.

She shot him when the suspect came back and tried to climb inside the window a second time, Lowery said. “He meant her lethal harm,” 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.
passing, both misdemeanors.”

WHEN SHE RETURNED WITH HER 38 SHE TOLD HIM AGAIN TO GO AWAY. HE DIDN’T.
SHE SHOT TWO ROUNDS THROUGH THE WINDOW.

HE RAN AWAY, CRUISED BY THE BEDROOM WINDOW, AND THEN CAME BACK. HE COULD HEAR HER TALKING TO THE POLICE AND TURNED AND LUNGED FORWARD AND SHE SHOT. SHE SAID HE HAD RED HAIR AND A BEARD, BUT SHE DIDN’T LOOK AT HIS FACE, BUT SHOT DIRECTLY AT HIS WHITE T SHIRT. SHE THOUGHT HE GRABBED HIS CHEST, AND HE WENT DOWN.

A $5,000 bench warrant was issued for Theis on Oct. 7 after he failed to appear in Shasta County Superior Court on indecent exposure and resisting or obstructing a peace officer charges, according to electronic court records.

Court records also show that Theis was sentenced in September 1998 to three years in prison after he pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana for sale.

Additionally, he pleaded no contest in 1994 to the unlawful taking of a vehicle, and pleaded no contest in 1993 to burglary, according to court records.

Redding police investigator Jon Poletski said today that Hopper called 911 during the first break-in, and the man ran off. He came back a few minutes later.

While police were heading to the home, Hopper called 911 again saying she’d shot him with a handgun, Poletski said.

There were what appeared to be two bullet holes in a window to the right of Hopper’s front door. The home’s front yard is surrounded by a knee-high chain-link fence.

“She shot from within the house as the suspect was attempting to gain entry from the outside,” Sgt. Al Mellon said a few hours after the shooting. “My understanding is at least one of the rounds went through a window. My understanding it was a bedroom window.”

NOPE. IT WAS THE LIVING ROOM WINDOW.

Theis was shot at least once in the chest, Melon said. He wouldn’t say how many rounds were fired.

The Redding man was on her front lawn when officers arrived. They tried to give him emergency medical care, but he died before being taken to the hospital, Poletski said.

Police say just a few minutes before Hopper called 911 the first time, a Wolfe Security guard working at Roger Funk Cars at 5460 Westside Road called 911 saying he’d confronted a man at the car lot. The man ran off.

That suspect reported by the security guard appears to match the dead man’s description, police said.

“Based on the information we had, it was completely random,” Mellon said.
Hopper was home about five hours after the shooting, but she declined a request for an interview Friday morning.

Two women who were visiting Hopper this morning said their friend was still pretty shaken. They also declined to be interviewed.
The shooting rattled neighbors in what they described as a normally peaceful neighborhood.

“Five years ago somebody’s car that wasn’t locked” was broken into “but other than that … it’s really quiet,” said Lisa Tullis, 30, whose apartment backs up to Hopper’s home. Tullis, her husband and two children have lived in the neighborhood for nearly eight years.

Tullis did not hear any gunfire and was woken by the glare of police and ambulance lights. Despite the shooting, she still feels safe.
“He’s dead. It’s not like he could come back,” Tullis said. “That might not be a nice thing to say. … I am worried more for her — just how she is doing.”

Tullis’ neighbors Brandon and Sarah Brackett have lived in the complex for two-and-a-half years. The Bracketts also were woken by the emergency lights.

Brandon Brackett said he saw somebody put a blanket over a body. He initially thought somebody had suffered a heart attack and was being taken to the hospital.

Sarah Brackett heard what she thought was a knock on her door before she woke up. She wondered if it was shots being fired that she actually heard.
“We have never had any issues; it’s been really quiet,” Sarah Brackett said.

The Branstetter shooting is the second time this month a Redding woman faced off with someone who had broken in. On the evening of Oct. 11, 40-year-old Christopher Morgan Ward was arrested after he broke into a West Street woman’s home while she was in the shower, police said.
The man ran off, but neighbors grabbed him. He managed to break free and began hopping fences and running through backyards, police say.
Ward was on methamphetamine at the time, police said.
Van Buskirk, the jail’s administrator, said Ward was released the next day, also because of overcrowding.
Law enforcement officials say the two cases aren’t related.”
——————————————–

You never think it can happen to you. Think again. Have a plan.

Donna is pretty shook up. They took her to the police station in her slippers and pajamas and robe. She is a spiritual person who never thought she would kill someone. However, if she hadn’t, there is a very good chance she would be the one at the morgue.

There is a strange irony to this sad story…but that is between friends.

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