“I knew something was wrong,” 11-year-old pulls gun on burglars

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NORTH BRANCH TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WEYI) - Reese is like many 11-year-old girls.

She says she likes to watch television while waiting for her parents to come home from work.

Last month, things took a dramatic turn at the family's country home.

"They started banging on the door and that's when I knew something was wrong," Reese said.

At that point, she saw two people circling the home, looking for a way inside the building.

Immediately, she called her family, who then called police.

"They were beating really hard on the back door," said Steve, Reese's father. "And she said, 'Oh my God.' They were in the garage."

Deputies from the Lapeer County Sheriff's office were 20 minutes away.

"I knew after that, that something was definitely wrong and I needed to hide," she said.

"We put together a plan that if something would go wrong where she was to go and where was the safest place to be," Steve said.

The would-be thieves kicked in the garage door and then broke the door to the house.

"They kicked it completely off," Steve said.

They went through the bedroom, kicking down the bathroom door.

Reese, who was hiding in a closet, knew it was only a matter of time before they reached her hiding spot.

"I was crying," she said.

When the burglars reached the closet door, they had no idea Reese had also grabbed a gun.

"I pointed it in his face and they ran off as soon as I did," she said. "Just a few minutes later, we heard over one of the walkie-talkies that they had caught them."

Reese gave police a description of the burglars' car and a description of the male suspect.

Half an hour after fleeing the home, James Wasson and Rhonda Steward were arrested for home invasion and felony gun charges.

Police are now investigating Wasson in connection with 25 home invasions in the area.

Steve says he understands the concerns people may have with having a gun in the home.

However, he says it is always locked in a safe and he made sure Reese went through gun safety training.

"She has her hunter's safety card. She is a licensed hunter," he said.

The family says it is important for parents to develop an emergency plan with their children.

"They need to know exactly what the plan is and they can't just say this is never going to happen because bad things happen to good people all the time," said Reese. "I was just following the plan."

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