News 12 First at Five, October 22, 2009
AIKEN CTY, S.C.---You can call Bonnie Randolph brave, but she considers it something else.
"Just instinct took over," she told News 12.
If only the rest of us were as lucky.
"He was right there, right at the door," she said.
Bonnie woke up late Wednesday night when she heard a noise in her utility room. Two people had broken in the back door. But they were the ones spooked by Bonnie's quick thinking.
"I live by myself, so I screamed my son's name: 'Charles, get the gun!'" Bonnie recalled.
Charles wasn't there. But her gun, a loaded .38 revolver, was. She ran back to the bedroom to get it and call 911. The whole time, advice from her late husband was running through her mind.
"My husband told me to pull the trigger and keep shooting," she said. "And if they'd have come toward me..."
But they didn't. The screams, threats, and Bonnie's strong will drove them back out the door.
"I've never been scared, and I've never thought I had reason to be," Bonnie said. "You just never think it's going to happen to you. It happens to other people."
And she mixes that will with what some would say is too much compassion.
"I wouldn't have shot them, because they were young kids."
Her best guess is that they were teens or in their early 20s. They wore black hoodies. She would have noticed more details, but they were too quick to run away from Bonnie.
It was simply the wrong crime done to the wrong person.
"I had been to church, and I kept thinking, 'Why didn't they break in when I was at church?'" Bonnie said. Maybe it was so she could teach them a lesson.
Bonnie says her son has decided to move back in with her just in case.