Fifteen-year-old Alexis Taylor saw a silver car backing into her driveway in Sweetwater, Tennessee while her father wasn’t home. She was immediately concerned, but called her dad, Jeremy, to make sure she and her 14-year-old sister weren’t supposed to entertain company that evening.
Jeremy said he didn’t know the man or the vehicle – which the stranger confirmed in short order. He stepped out into the driveway, located two pressure washers on the property, and put them in his car.
“I was panicking, and I was in my mom and dad’s bedroom,” said Alexis in an interview (news video below). Still on the phone with her dad, she watched the man then approach their front door.
“That scared me,” she said. “I was thinking, if he gets in here, what could happen to me? What could happen to my sister?”
“Go get the shotgun,” her dad instructed. He would later tell reporters that he was “confident enough to know that she knew how to use the firearm if needed.”
Shotgun in hand, Alexis snuck around the side of the house and saw the intruder messing with the lock on the door.
“I was there, and I was ready the whole time,” Alexis said, re-tracing her steps out the side door and around the side of the house. “I slowly peeked around to see if he was right there, and I could see him. He was huddled over the door, and he was shaking the door.”
At that point, WKRN reports:
The man noticed Alexis out of the corner of his eye and made his way back to his car.
Once he was in the car, she walked closer to him.
“During that time my instinct was just telling me, I can’t let him leave with what he had of ours,” she said.
Alexis said she fired the gun at the man’s car after “he started the ignition and took off.” She claims she hit the car.
McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy says Alexis did the right thing.
“I guess I’m a little old-fashioned and I respect the rights of my citizens to defend themselves and defend their property,” said Sheriff Guy.
Without having been there, it’s hard to say whether firing at the car was indeed the right thing to do. But in general, shooting at a fleeing criminal isn’t a good idea.
Approaching the man’s car as he was getting ready to drive away could have spurred a turn for the worse. However, from an outside perspective, it looks like Alexis had more presence of mind than most 15-year-olds would have under that kind of pressure, and it’s a very good thing that she had the means to fight back in case the intruder got violent.
The most important thing is that no one in the family was harmed.
Here’s a news report with brief interviews via newshannel9.com: