A Florida woman who was eight months pregnant used an AR-15 to defend her husband and daughter against two armed intruders.
Last week, two armed men broke in to the King family home, grabbing the woman's husband, Jeremy King, and the couple's 11-year-old daughter while demanding money. When King said he didn't have anything to give them, one of the intruders began hitting him in the face with a pistol.
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"They came in heavily hooded and masked. As soon as they had got the back door opened, they had a pistol on me and was grabbing my 11-year-old daughter," he told Bay News 9. "I'm telling them, ‘I have nothing for you,' and they're like, ‘give me everything you got.' It became real violent, real fast."
That was the moment that King's wife (who went unnamed in the news story) came out of a back room to check on the commotion. After one of the intruders shot at her, she retrieved the family's AR-15 rifle, then used it to shoot and kill one of the intruders and scare off the other.
King said he was left with a broken eye socket, fractured sinus cavity, concussion, 20 stitches, and three staples. He credits his wife's quick actions with saving his life.
"Them guys came in with two normal pistols and my AR stopped it," King told the news station. He said his wife "evened the playing field and kept them from killing me."
The attackers were unknown to the Kings, but police said they believe the family was purposely targeted, although they were still investigating why. Frank Losat, a spokesperson for the Hillsborough County, Fla., sheriff's office, also confirmed that the family's AR-15 was legally owned.
Police said the remaining suspect was still at large as of Wednesday night.
"At this time, we have one suspect that has not been located," Losat said. "We have very limited information on him."
The political debate over AR-15s has intensified in recent months as two failed Democratic presidential candidates focused their campaigns on confiscating the rifles. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.) and former congressman Beto O'Rourke (D., Texas) both pivoted to gun confiscation to bolster failing campaigns, but eventually dropped out. Other candidates have mostly backed away from gun confiscation, but the entirety of the Democratic primary field has backed banning future AR-15 sales.
Gun-rights advocates have long opposed bans on AR-15s—the most popular rifle in the country—and point to examples like the King family as evidence of the firearms' effectiveness for home defense. Alan Gottlieb, who chairs the gun-rights group the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, said the incident demonstrates why "the Second Amendment must be zealously defended."
"Homeowner Jeremy King told reporters that he would be dead if his wife hadn't used his AR-15 to shoot one of the robbers and send the other one running," Gottlieb said in a statement. "Those who would ban such rifles, and restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens to make it impossible to defend themselves and their families against violent thugs would have innocent blood on their hands."