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Illinois woman shoots intruder

Feb. 11, 2013 at 12:51 PM

HIGHLAND, Ill., Feb. 11 (UPI) -- An Illinois woman says she shot and critically wounded a man after he broke into her apartment, threw her to the ground and put her sister in a choke hold.

Debi Keeney, 55, of Highland said the intruder forced his way in about 3:30 a.m. Sunday when she stepped outside to smoke a cigarette and demanded money while attacking her and her 47-year-old sister, Donna Carylle.

Keeney said she warned the man to let her sister go and then shot him with a .22-caliber pistol she hadn't fired since taking lessons 15 years ago, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

"I'm very grateful that it fired this morning," she told the newspaper Sunday afternoon. "All I could see was Donna's face going blue, like her life was being choked out of her."

Keeney said she had taken the gun out of its usual hiding place in a side table near the apartment door and placed it on the table after someone was heard going through the complex jiggling doorknobs Friday night.

The 33-year-old man, whose name hadn't been released, was hospitalized in critical condition.

"I wish I hadn't shot him," Keeney said. "I gave him an opportunity to leave. I wish he had left without me having to shoot him. ... I hate the idea that I had to pull that trigger."

Rodney Rusick, 68 said his neighbor did the right thing.

"I'm proud of her for shooting that dude," he said.

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