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Burglary Thwarted by Armed 11-Year-Old with Pink Rifle

by Richard Nance   |  December 21st, 2011 21

Alyssa GutierrezThree burglars in a suburban neighborhood in Albuquerque, N.M., got more than they bargained from 11-year-old resident, Alyssa Gutierrez. Since Gutierrez’ cousin left her alone in the house only moments earlier, she initially dismissed the sound of the door handle rattling as her cousin trying to scare her. In response, she turned up the volume on the television to ignore him.

When three teenaged burglars forced open the door with a crowbar and entered the residence, Gutierrez slid down from the couch where she had been seated in attempt to hide. The masked intruders spotted her and she realized that one of them was armed with a rifle.  Gutierrez ran to her mother’s bedroom and retrieved a .22 caliber rifle with a pink stock. The bolt action rifle was loaded with only two rounds.

Gutierrez, who had learned to shoot just days earlier, said, “I was planning if they came right next to me, I would shoot them.”  Gutierrez searched the residence while armed with the rifle.  Fortunately, all three burglars ran out of the residence and jumped a fence, where they were apprehended by an off-duty police officer.  Gutierrez’ parents knew one of the burglars and believed he intended to steal firearms from the residence.

Obviously, Gutierrez did an absolutely outstanding job, especially given her age and relative inexperience with firearms.  However, based on the information available, it sounds like there were a couple things Gutierrez could have done even better.

Ideally, she would have called 911 to get the police started toward the residence. But with precious little time to act, it’s hard to fault her for opting for the rifle over the phone. Deciding to search the residence for three burglars, at least one of which was known to be armed, was probably not the best decision, particularly when there were only two rounds in her rifle. Gutierrez would have been better off to seek cover and wait behind a locked door, with her rifle at the ready. Perhaps this would have given her time to call 911.

Have you ever spoken to your loved ones about what they should do if they were home alone when someone broke into your residence?  Do they know where your gun is kept, how to load it, and if necessary, how to shoot it to defend themselves?

  • Dennis

    Very brave young lady, I hope her parents take the time to teach her what else she should do in this type of situation.

  • jack

    Kudos to the young lady and her parents.

  • san jose

    honest. you can not expect smart tactics from 11 year old . she did the best she could. yes it was smarter to call.. but ask yourself in the the time when adrenalin pounding inside what would you do. at knowledge that burglars armed would you trust the phone or the gun. brave 100%!!!!!!!!

  • https://www.facebook.com/traci.locke Traci Linn Locke

    Disagree with the claims of mistakes. Had she called 911 first she most likely would've made noise to let the boys know she was there and would not have had the time to get her own weapon. Knowing another person is armed, and choosing NOT to arm herself puts her at even more risk. If she wasnt armd and they heard her calling, panic may have settled into the boys causing them to shoot her. People are less likely to draw their weapon if one is pointed at their head first. She made the right choices in the right order. She didn't panic, but she armed herself, kept cool, calm, and collected, and then called for back up.. Good for the family for educating her.

  • ruthie

    Unfortunately, she'll probably get taken away from her parents for being left alone at 11 years old with guns in the home…. even though she seems capable.

  • Richard Nance

    Without a doubt, this brave little girl responded exceptionally well. She kept her cool and made many good decisions. The suggestions I offered were not intended to be critical of her but to serve as food for thought for the rest of us. Rarely would any of us do everything right in this type of situation. Even when things turn out well, it's important for us to reflect on what could be improved so that we have the best possible chance of winning if we were to find ourselves in a similar situation.

  • Dana Chapman

    Given the situation,she did great!

  • Anthony B

    Good Job Kid!

  • tang qin

    I'd rather grab the riffle better than calling 911 specially in a limited time in order to defend yourself, what she did is the right thing…bravo young lady you did a good job.

  • SweetAl39

    Pretty impressive for an 11 year old with little gun training. I agree, it would be better not to search but rather to call 911, but I completely understand what it is like with the adrenaline pumping. I once chased a burgler out of my apartment with a sauce pan and would have pursued him out of the building had my roommate not stopped me.

  • David

    I am a retired law enforcement officer and I think this little girl did great! Police response might have been 3 minutes. It is for that reason I say ARM yourself first and then call the police. I don't necessarily like the fact that she went searching for them but I'm not gonna say anything bad about the fact that she did. She took charge of the situation and took the fight to intruders!! I say good for her. She'll make a great Marine one day!

  • Alan Z…

    It isn't necessary to ask God to forgive you for defending your family from violent criminals-that's the job He gave you! "If a thief is found breaking in, and is struck so that he dies, there is no guilt for his bloodshed." Exodus 22:1-3. "He who has no sword, let him sell his coat and buy one.", Jesus, at the Last Supper; Luke 22:37. Don't feel guilty for doing what's right!

  • Beth

    that made me chuckle !

  • old vet

    Been going over this sight for a while now and believe you said it best. Very BAD things could have happened, but did not. She rocked!

  • o0silentkilla0o

    that chick has balls!!!! i think she deserves a got balls award

  • pootsie

    This just proves how evil guns are and that we should not have any in our homes because they are too dangerous. Oh oops I thought I was your average bias anti-gun reporter.

  • Colonel Klink

    Sounds like paranoia, but it does give one peace of mind.

  • Colonel Klink

    I was left alone at the age of 8 and it was hell cause I couldn't get into the apartment until my parents came home from work. This was in Germany around 1950. Today my parents would have been reprimanded for child neglect.

  • MAX

    Wow. This 11 year old girl with a pink rifle is more manly than me and my ar 15.

  • Julie

    I am very glad this little girl is safe, but I am very confused as to how her gun helped the situation at all. It seems like the intruders just ran away as soon as they saw someone was home. They didn't even see that she had a gun. And I hate to say it, but I am pretty sure that more hardened criminals would just have overwhelmed her, taken her gun away and….I don't want to elaborate. I am just not at all convinced that having guns in her home helped this girl at all. (I know this is not the right audience for my comment!)

  • Patrick Gong

    only thing she did wrong was to not shoot them lol

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