Jan Cooper of Anaheim said she loaded her .357-magnum Smith & Wesson revolver and called 911 when she saw the man jump over her backyard fence and attempt to break into the home through her sliding glass door, KTLA-TV, Los Angeles, reported Wednesday.
Cooper warned the dispatcher she was firing her gun.
"You'd better get the police here. I don't know whether I hit him or not. I'm not sure. He's standing at my door, my back door. He's in my yard," Cooper told the dispatcher.
Cooper said she was frightened, but determined to protect her husband, a wheelchair-bound World War II veteran.
Police said the suspect, Brandon Alexander Perez, 31, was not hit by Cooper's shot and was arrested a short time after the incident.