AJC Exclusive: ‘It was me or him:’ Gun-toting great-grandmother fires at burglar

Gwendolyn Agard is a 79-year-old great-grandmother who will go to any lengths to protect her property and her loved ones.

A man accused of breaking into her home earlier this month quickly learned how serious she is about her home security.

The man dodged two bullets fired by the grandmother, but Agard didn’t back down, switching from the .38 handgun kept in her kitchen to a larger .45 pistol after he “Didn’t get the message.”

Agard sounded fearless on the 911 call as she taunts the burglar with salty language, but she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution she was frightened during the break-in. “Not knowing if they have a gun, not knowing when they are going to shoot you. Knowing that if it comes down to him or me, he’s going to try to get me.”

READCops: homeowner shoots at accused Cobb burglar

Her call to 911, released by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, provides a play-by-play of the incident between the woman and the alleged burglar, identified as Hans E. Rogers.

Agard called police around 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 12, saying she could see someone moving on her back porch. She told the dispatcher that the man was trying to open the door. When she looked out the curtains, she saw a person she did not recognize and said “my heart just dropped.”

“Hurry, hurry, please,” Agard can be heard saying to the dispatcher during the 911 call. However, her demeanor changes after she hears glass breaking.

She told the AJC that’s when she grabbed her .38 pistol and called out to the man.

“I said, ‘(Expletive), if you come in here, I’m going to blow your (expletive) brains out.’”

According to the call, Agard said she fired her gun once “so they can hear it,” but the man used an outside set of stairs to get to a window on the upper level of her house.

“Come on up in here; I got something for you,” the woman can be heard saying to the burglar on a 911 call.

Once he was inside, the woman told dispatchers she could hear him “talking crazy” in an upstairs room.

The man then began throwing things down the stairwell, and Agard said she fired off another round. However, that didn’t stop him, as Agard said he attempted to come down to the lower level.

At that moment, Agard said she thought, “It’s either me or him,” so she retreated to another part of the home and pulled out a larger gun — her .45 pistol.

"When you come down them stairs, I'm gonna blow your (expletive) brains out," the woman said. "I'm waiting for ya."

“When you come down them stairs, I’m gonna blow your (expletive) brains out,” the woman said. “I’m waiting for ya.”

She fired the gun, striking the wall, according to the sheriff’s office incident report.

Realizing his predicament, the man hid inside a crawl space in a closet until sheriff’s deputies arrived at the home.

Rogers was arrested, charged with burglary, home invasion and criminal trespass. Rogers, who the sheriff’s office said is from Powder Springs, remains jailed without bond at the Jackson County Detention Center.

Agard, a caretaker, said she took action to protect a client in her home at the time, who she said was blind.

And while she used rough language with the suspect, she believes God protected both of them from getting seriously injured or killed.

“Looking back over it, (God) wasn’t ready for either one of us because it could have easily gone in a different direction,” she told the AJC.

Agard said she hopes her story will remind people they should be prepared to protect themselves even when they are in the comfort of their homes.

“You can’t assume anything, and don’t take anybody or anything for granted,” she said

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