ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) - Anderson County deputies said they are investigating after a mother of three said she had to use her gun to keep a stranger from entering her home Thursday morning.
It happened around 6 a.m. on Norfolk Circle.
The homeowner, Ashley Jones, said she heard someone banging on her door. She looked out the window and didn't see anyone, so she asked who was there. No one answered her, but she heard people speaking in front of the house. Next, Jones said she called 911 and grabbed her gun.
As she walked downstairs with the gun, she said she saw a strange man in a red shirt knocking on her window by the front door.
“I yelled, 'I have a gun, I will shoot you, get away from my house,'” Jones said.
She said the man and a second person then went to the back of the house and tried to enter through the back door. Then, they went to the garage before coming back to the front door.
That's when Jones said the man kicked in the front door, and she pulled the trigger. She said the bullet hit the man, and he ran off.
“Something just came over me, and I got calm. My heart slowed down and I got focused. I told myself if he comes in here, you can’t let him get past your doorstep. You have three young children to protect," Jones said.
Jones said she didn't hesitate, and if the man would've continued into the home, she would have fired again.
“I would’ve killed him if I had to.”
Jones said she was initially hesitant to be a gun owner and hoped she never had to use it. She took steps to train with the firearm and taught her children to avoid it. But after the events that unfolded Thursday morning, Jones said she is glad to be a gun owner.
"If I didn't have a weapon, I wouldn’t have been able to fight him off," Jones said.
Sheriff Chad McBride said there is no known connection between the suspect and the homeowner and praised Jones for protecting her family and her home.
McBride tells FOX Carolina they got the call around 6 a.m. Thursday and were trying to figure out what exactly happened.
He says Jones was prepared and did what she should have done. He also emphasizes that anyone who has access to firearms should have proper training as part of being a responsible gun owner.
McBride also says defending your home against intruders is hard if you try and shoot culprits in the leg or arm; he says you need to do what you have to do, and with several laws governing self-defense, homeowners who are armed have the right to defend themselves or others on their property.
McBride also said the primary suspect is in stable condition and his wounds are not life-threatening. He also said both people seen in the surveillance video are facing charges.
On Friday, the sheriff's office named Cecil Charles Parnell, 42, as the male suspect in the case. Deputies said Parnell was charged with burglary first degree and booked in the Anderson County Detention Center.