This story is based on actual events. The names have been changed to protect identities.
It was a gorgeous day on our ranch. We had invited over a couple named Jack and Anna who lived a few miles away. They brought with them a loader and backhoe. We were bartering with them to do some work on our ranch in exchange for a chicken coup and tack and feed shed. Jack worked down in the city, while Anna worked as a county sheriff's deputy. The day was going great. Our sons were getting to participate with Jack on the backhoe and my wife was having a great time with Anna talking about livestock.
Suddenly, I received a call on my cell phone. It was my neighbor Josie. Josie is an elderly woman who lives about a mile away in this very remote off the grid ranch. She is a hardened girl, tough and in good shape for being in her 70s. However, on this particular phone call she was yelling, frightened, and in great distress. At first I could not understand what she was saying. I asked her to repeat and tell me what was going on. Again, with a loud, distressed voice, she screamed, “There is a man here with a gun in my face!” I immediately yelled this out to our guests knowing full well Anna was a sheriff's deputy. Anna immediately got on her cell phone and contacted dispatch. She immediately told me that the closest deputy was over an hour away. I told Josie to hang on and hung up. I grabbed my
Winchester 1300 Defender combat shotgun and
threw it in the truck. I immediately headed
out to Josie's. Now Josie lives over a
mile away, and we are her closest neighbor.
The road leading to her ranch is very rough. It took me 5 minutes just to get there. When I arrived, her steel gate entrance was
chained and locked. I got out of the vehicle
and noticed in the soft dirt leading up to the gate a single set of large boot
tracks that continued after the gate and went on down the soft dirt road deep
into Josie’s ranch.
I grabbed my combat shotgun loaded with 00 buckshot and entered into Josie's property. Now I have been to Josie's property many times to help her and knew that I had almost a quarter-mile run just to arrive at her trailer. Josie was not a full-timer and only came out when she was not working for a park service. She would stay in a 20 foot travel trailer when she would come out. After a hurried run, I cautiously approached the trailer. As I approached I could begin to hear a male voice sounding belligerent and demanding to enter into her trailer. I suspected he was on either drugs or alcohol intoxicated. I was able to approach the trailer on the opposite side where the perpetrator who was maintaining a position at her trailer door. I worked my way around to the front of the trailer where the hitch was and poked my head up and looked into Josie's trailer. I could see her through the screen and dirty windows on the other side of the trailer pleading with the perp at her door. She continued to plead with cracking voice to the perpetrator to leave immediately and leave her alone. Wanting to ascertain the situation, I peeked around the corner and saw a swarthy male perpetrator who had a rifle in one hand and a revolver in the other. I moved back into position concealing myself and ensuring that I was in a low-ready position. Oddly, a sense of calm came over me. A spirit of total resolve to do what is right to defend life. I barely peeked around again observing very closely the actions of this perpetrator, knowing full well that if I were to see him level any one of his firearms at her door I would have to take immediate action to dispatch the offender with swift justice.
By the grace of God, the perpetrator started growing weary and he proceeded to walk over to a log which Josie would use to sit at her open pit fire. He laid down his firearms on the log and sat down. His hands were now free. This is when I seized the moment, coming around the corner in total authority with my 12-gauge combat shotgun leveled right at him. I commanded him in a loud concise voice, “Do not to move a muscle!” He jerked and became stiff as a board and had an expression of utter fear, and he complied immediately with my commands. I was able to secure his weapons.
When Josie saw through her window that I had the situation under control she immediately burst out of her trailer and grabbed a hold of me hugging me so tight. I was amazed at her strength. I immediately questioned the perpetrator. Upon questioning I found out he was an illegal alien from Mexico brought to the ranches by another ranch owner who happened to live on the east coast. He was brought to that ranch to watch over it.
I got on my cell phone and called Anna, the sheriff's deputy at my ranch, and told her of the situation. She informed me that they would not be able to send out a deputy to respond to this situation and apologized profusely. To this day, I have never been given any explanation as to why the sheriff would not respond.
I had this illegal invader in my custody. I asked Josie what she wanted to do. Josie stated that she knew who the ranch owner was after the perpetrators admission on who is. She now knew who brought this illegal invader to their ranch, and she would contact them immediately and notify them of the situation. She made the call while I had him in custody. She hung up her cell phone and she then requested that I escort him back to his ranch where the owner would deal with him.
I commanded the invader to walk out in front of me and proceed to my truck on the other side of the ranch. Josie followed along with me to see us out. While on the way out she nearly collapsed out of severe stress. I grabbed a hold of her and gave her a big hug. She regained her strength. When we arrived at my truck I gave the invader strict orders with a very stern face not to leave his ranch until his person of authority arrived and that I would be watching him. He stated that he would comply.
I took him back to his ranch and gave back his firearms after I had unloaded them. I watched him cautiously until he arrived at his cabin and went in. I then left. When I arrived back at my place my wife and kids gave me a big hug, as well as Anna the sheriff's deputy.
I recounted the entire event to them. My sons and I set up observation to watch over the invader to make sure he stayed where he belonged. The very next day, the ranch owner from the east coast blazing in with their truck and took away the perpetrator immediately.
We never saw him again.
The use of a firearm though not having to dispatch a perpetrator saves this woman’s life in my opinion. I had no doubt that he would have eventually harmed her. I always keep my combat shotgun with me on patrols by request of other ranch owners. It has been my primary weapon system for 20 years and I have developed accessories to fulfill my needs to use such a defensive weapon.
Now, of course after this incident hind sight is always 20/20 and for some reason (I believe the Lord) it worked out the way that it did. Of course reviewing over this story there are crucial things that I probably could have done, but did not do. Your input is constructive to this true story and it can help others to put into practice on what can be/or not be done.