Saturday, September 11, 2010

Held at gunpoint: The explanation!

Okay, so here's the story behind #10:

About nine years ago, I left the house with my two youngest kids at the time, a baby and a three-year-old. We were driving to pick up the other kids at school.

A few minutes later, my cell phone rang. It was my home security company calling to tell me that the alarm was going off at my house, and that the police had arrived. I turned the car around and made the short trip back home.

As I drove, I made a quick mental assessment of what must have happened: I am usually quite thorough in locking everything up before I leave home, but that day I had been in a rush to leave. I remembered that my three-year-old had been out in the backyard and had come back in through the sliding glass door, which, though heavy, he liked to open and close. I figured he had not fully closed the door. Not knowing the door was open a crack, I had gotten the boys strapped in their car seats, and then I put the alarm system on, which gives me a few seconds to get out the door. By the time the alarm actually went off, I was probably too far down the road to hear it. Yep, that must've been it.

I pulled up at my house and greeted the friendly young police officer standing in my driveway by his squad car. I told him what I thought had happened, and he agreed that was probably accurate. He told me that his partner was already inside doing a routine security sweep, just in case. He told me I could go on inside to check the house myself. The nice officer offered to keep an eye on the boys for a few minutes while I went in. So, as he was making my little guys laugh in their car seats, I went ahead on in....

(Can you guess where this is going?)

I walked directly to the back of the house to check the sliding glass door. I pulled the door open, stepped outside, and was immediately met with the order to "FREEZE!" as I found myself staring down the barrel of a police woman's gun, which was point-blank range from my heart.

Now that was a weird moment.

You'd think there would be fear, but in the moment I wasn't afraid. I put my hands up in the air, still holding my car keys, and said, chirpily, "I'm the homeowner!" She didn't budge and neither did the gun. I told her her partner had sent me in, and she said she would have to verify that. She continued to hold me firmly at gunpoint, my hands raised, while she radioed into dispatch (hands-free, as the radio was on her shoulder). Dispatch then had to radio her partner out in front of my house to confirm that he had sent the homeowner inside, and then when he confirmed it for them, they relayed the info to the young woman who was holding my life in her hands! I am sooooooo grateful that she did not have an itchy trigger finger!

Needless to say, I was internally a bit ticked off that the first officer sent me inside without telling his partner! Nice of him to watch my kids and all, but not worth it if their mommy is laying dead in a pool of her own blood!! I didn't get an apology from him or anything, but he seemed a bit sheepish after that. He was still super-friendly, as was I.

The female officer told me that as she was searching my backyard, she saw only jeans and tennis shoes* approaching the sliding glass door from inside. Her thought, naturally, was that it might be a perpetrator.

After the incident, we exchanged pleasantries, and they went along their way. I grabbed my kids and then started to shudder about what might have been! Can you imagine the headlines? Police accidentally shoot and kill unarmed mother of five in her own home. Those things have happened. I'm just so grateful that it didn't happen to me.

So, that's the story! I was trying to think of the 10 surprising things, and I couldn't think of a tenth item. I so rarely think about that incident, but I guess it is truly surprising! I know the lady cop and I were both very surprised that day! (I often wonder if she let her partner have it after they left??)

TCIE, how's that for a true-life crime story?? Riveting, no? Well, I guess it's not really that riveting. And, Complicated Life, you need to tell your husband's story, which I am sure is much better!

Oh, and as for the King Tut thing... My family traveled to Egypt when I was fourteen and that was one of the highlights! We also got to ride camels around the pyramids and even go inside them.

As for Elvis, I think we saw him the year before he died, in about '76, and I was nine years old. He was awesome, but overweight and sweaty.

*sneakers, for those of you on the east coast.

PS: I just showed this post to my now twelve-year-old son and told him that this was the story of when he almost had me killed by the Phoenix police. He grinned.


  1. Yikes! I probably would have peed my pants!

  2. That's one awesome story. But I do have to be truthful. It does not top my all-time favorite real-life crime story of the woman who got busted for murdering her husband... when they searched her computer, they found that she had googled "How to Commit Murder" on it. Cracks me up every. single. time.

  3. Count me among the riveted. Wow! Well, now I know why I pray for you so much. You need them!

  4. TCIE you make me laugh ... Leila, this story blows me away !! (no pun intended!)

    I think I might have collapsed in terror. I have never had a gun pointed at me, and hope I never will, but I cannot imagine!! Oh I am so thankful nothing came of it all.

  5. WOW. OH my goodness wow. I'm having a heart-attack having read your and ACL's stories this morning.

    I better go to Mass. I need Jesus after this. No more blogs for me this morning!

  6. (Note- I was already going to Mass and I always need Jesus!)

  7. oh gosh Leila!

    TCIE, very funny! HOw to commit murder.....nerdy murderer huh?

  8. TCIE- Some people are really bright! Not! That's pretty funny though...well funny in the "not so bright are you" kind of way and not so much the "murder" way...oh, you get the picture!! ;)

    Leila- OH MY GOODNESS!!! How scary!!!!!!

  9. How crazy! We have a security system too and I've always feared something like this happening to me!


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