Mother Shoots, Kills Intruder to Protect Baby; 911 Tapes Released

By Mary Collins

January 5, 2012 Updated Jan 5, 2012 at 8:40 AM EST

BLANCHARD, OK., (Indiana's NewsCenter)--- 18 year old Sarah McKinley said she did what she had to do to protect her new baby The recently widowed mom killed an intruder on New Year's Eve after a 911 operator told her, "Do what you have to do to protect your baby."

Sarah McKinley, who was alone with her 3-month-old son in their Blanchard home, McKinley says two men -- one of whom she had met previously -- appeared at her door Saturday night and then tried to break in. Two days earlier, she had buried her husband, who died of cancer on Christmas Day.

One man -- identified as 24-year-old Justin Martin --- had come by Thursday to express condolences. But Saturday, armed with a foot-long hunting knife, he and his partner attempted to break down McKinley's door. She blocked it with her couch, grabbed her baby and fetched a 12-gauge shotgun and a handgun before calling 911.

McKinley said she asked the dispatcher, "I've got two guns in my hand -- is it OK to shoot him if he comes in this door? I'm here by myself with my infant baby, can I please get a dispatcher out here immediately?"

"I can't tell you that you can do that but you do what you have to do to protect your baby," the dispatcher said.

The 911 conversation lasted for 21 minutes. Then the door gave in.

"I waited till he got in the door. They said I couldn't shoot him until he was inside the house. So I waited until he got in the door and then I shot him," McKinley said.

Martin, who charged McKinley with his knife, was hit in the "upper torso," police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His cohort, Dustin Louis Stewart, 29, fled but later surrendered to authorities.

Blanchard police say McKinley acted in self-defense.

"Oklahoma laws are clear on home defense. I think they're clear to most individuals that you can defend yourself in your home," said Detective Supervisor Dan Huff.




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