Jennifer Cooper had never fired a gun before, but when an intruder
invaded her home as her two sons slept peacefully, she knew she had
to take action. At 10:40 p.m., she heard the chime of her front door
sound. Cooper had not set the home alarm system because her husband,
Gary, was in San Antonio at a Spurs basketball game, and she was
awaiting his return. "I could hear footsteps," she said. When she
called her husband's name and no one answered, she ran into the
master bedroom -- where she had left her children -- and locked the
door. Seconds later, Cooper heard someone twisting the doorknob.
There was no phone in the bedroom, so she was unable to call the
police. Cooper and her children spent the next two hours in fear,
hoping whoever was on the other side of the door would leave. She
yelled through the door that the house was alarmed and that the
police were on their way, but the intruder turned on all the lights
and the television and periodically twisted the doorknob. "We talked
and we prayed a lot," she said. Then she retrieved a .357 Mag. from
the closet. When she thought she heard the lock being picked, Cooper
pointed the gun at the door and fired. All went quiet, and footsteps
and the door chime signaled the stranger's exit. When Gary Cooper
returned home he found his family huddled together, a smoking gun in
his wife's hand and a bullet hole in his bedroom door. Jennifer
Cooper has vowed to never become a victim. "I'm going to start
taking classes," she said. "My husband said it's the first thing on
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