A Tale of Courage, Bravery and Smarts

“I’ve got two guns in my hand – is it okay to shoot him”

18 year widow, Sarah McKinley, protects herself and her child from would be intruders. The Oklahoma mother had just lost her husband to cancer on Christmas Day. A man came by claiming to her neighbor wanting to say ‘hello’ after the funeral. She refused to let him in.

[Editor Note, hopefully most of our readers here would have had the wisdom and caution to not open the door.]

The man returned with a friend AND a 12 inch hunting knife. McKinley called 911, and while having armed herself with both a shotgun and a pistol. Remember that it is better to be alive and face a jury, than to be a victim. McKinley inquired if it was okay to shoot if they came through the door. Thankfully, the 911 agent did not give one of the typical “Don’t take the law into your own hands. Wait until the police get there, Ma’am.” responses. Rather, the agent responded “I can’t tell you that you can do that but you do what you have to do to protect your baby,”

“Please be aware that a man trying to break into your house with a knife is a lethal threat; and it might not be worth the risk of your life to wait until they break into your home.

Sarah McKinley did a LOT right:

  • Refused to open her door.
  • Locked all her doors.
  • Barricaded the door with a couch. Thus slowing the aggressors’ movement.
  • Had 911 on call.
  • Most of all,  she had a functioning firearm, knowledge to use it, and a back-up if needed.

The Bad: A young woman who has already suffered a horrendous loss, is not forced to bear even more emotional wounds this holiday season.

The Good: One monster gone. And an improvement on the part of the 9-1-1 dispatcher’s response.

[Editor’s Note:  To me, the 9-1-1 operator responded correctly, as opposed to the response of the 9-1-1 operator in the North Carolina incident involving a 14 year old boy defending his home and his sister. In that incident the 9-1-1 operator stated “Do not, while I’m on the phone, do not fire that firearm, OK?”  This to a 14 year old boy who is defending his home & sister  against four burglars. Seriously, do they even train 9-1-1 operators or just hire them from Burger King?]


Updated Article 
(sadly, accomplice has been released on bail, but is being charged with 1st degree murder)



A fund has been set up by Chickasha Bank & Trust for her. I am endeavoring to get more information and see if there are any online payment options.

Sarah McKinley Fund
c/o Chickasha Bank & Trust Company
P.O. Box 548,
Blanchard, Oklahoma

There are a couple of Walmart’s in the area. For those who might consider sending a gift card that will allow the purchase of groceries, diapers and other needful items.

Published in: on January 4, 2012 at 11:12 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Forgive my ignorance, but what does Walmart have to do with the story?

    • I asked concerning the nearest grocery chain in the area. And was informed they have one small grocery store and a couple of Walmarts (groceries, diapers, etc); for those who might want to send a gift card.

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