MI Homeowner holds invader at gunpoint


A 17-year-old is in custody after walking in to a Kentwood home and coming face-to-face with an armed homeowner.

It happened about 4 a.m. Tuesday at a home in the 5000 block of Blaine Avenue SE.

“He saw the gun and said, ‘Don’t shoot me, don’t shoot me,’” Deanna McGowan told 24 Hour News 8 Tuesday.

She said a noise in her kitchen woke her up early Tuesday. She walked out of her bedroom and was met by a teen she had never seen before unplugging her laptop. She said her purse and phone were in his hand.

McGowan was surprised, but prepared.

“I kind of had a plan in my head if anything like that happened,” she said.

That plan was to grab a gun. She stands only a little taller than 5 feet, but with her pistol in hand she quickly took charge of the situation.

“I said a lot of not very nice words to him,” she said. “I kind of used my ‘mom voice.’”

MGowan said the intruder repeatedly begged her not to call the police.

“I’m like, ‘No, buddy, You broke into my home,‘” she said.

The intruder claimed he broke in because he was hungry, she said.

He goes, ‘I just wanted food,’” she recalled. “I’m like, ‘I had banana bread on my counter. You could have just taken my banana bread.’”

Pointing her small pistol at the teen, she directed him to the couch and called police.

“I can’t believe I did it, honestly,” she said.

Police say another neighbor heard a strange noise, saw two men walking down the street and called police.

“I had a car that was relatively close,” Kentwood Police Chief Tom Hillen said. “Upon entering the area, they observed two subjects who immediately took off running.”

The pair got away. As officers searched the area, police got the call from McGowan in the same neighborhood. The teen who broke into her home was arrested and locked up

“I just hope and pray that the kid gets some rehabilitation and you know just becomes a better person,” McGowan said.

It’s unclear whether teen McGowan held at gunpoint was one of the two men seen minutes earlier walking the street.

Hillen said it’s not as rare as one might think for an armed homeowner to stop an intruder. As the state’s carry concealed laws have been relaxed, more people have trained in the use of firearms.

“While it’s always dangerous to confront a potential felon, especially when you consider they’re in your home, everybody responds or acts differently to an emerging situation,” Hillen said. “Apparently, this homeowner felt comfortable doing what they did.”

If you have any information, contact the Kentwood Police Department at 616.698.6580 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.


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