11-year-old protects herself with shotgun, foils burglary ring

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MICHIGAN (WEYI) — 11-year-old Reese typically doesn’t have too much going on when she gets home from school.

“Just sitting here watching TV,” she says from the living room of her rural North Branch Township, Michigan home.

But things took a dramatic turn one afternoon three weeks ago.

Reese says two people banged on their door, then began circling the home, looking for a way in. That’s when she called her mom, who called her husband, who then called police.

“They were beating really hard on the back door,” says her father, Steve.

The Lapeer County Sherriff’s Office is 20 minutes away, so Reese knew she had to spring into action.

“I knew after that, that something was definitely wrong and I needed to hide,” Reese recalls.

“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 adds.

The plan? Grab a shotgun out of the safe and hide in the bathroom closet of the master bedroom.

The intruders forcefully made their way into the house, and eventually to the closet door that Reese was hiding behind.

She came out and, without a stitch of doubt, made the trespassers look down the barrel of her shotgun.

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

James Wasson and Rhonda Steward were caught about 30 minutes later, thanks to the van description that Reese gave police.

“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,” says Reese.

“I was just following the plan,” says Reese.

Wasson and Steward are charged with home invasion and felony gun charges.

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