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Eleven-year-old stops three burglars.

"I was planning, if they came right next to me, I would shoot them," 11-year-old Alyssa Gutierrez told KRQE News 13 out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, on August 13. Gutierrez, who just recently started the sixth grade, took up a loaded rifle to defend her home against three burglars.

The suspects are Miguel Marquez, Eduardo Zubiate, and Jesus Quintana, who are accused of using a crowbar to pry open a rear door. Gutierrez was at home with her cousins when they left to run an errand. She was sitting on her couch watching the television when she heard the back door rattle. Police believe the suspects witnessed the cousins leave and thought the residence was unoccupied. The three men entered the house. One of them was armed with a rifle. Gutierrez quickly ducked to the floor and lay down near the couch when she realized that three men had just broken into the home. She said her "heart kept on pounding and pounding" as she listened to the men discuss their plans. She said she heard them talk about stealing guns in the home.

Authorities would later reveal that one of the suspects knew the family and targeted the home specifically to steal guns. Gutierrez only hid for a little while before she decided to take action. She described the thoughts going through her head during the terrifying ordeal: "They had a rifle so I was thinking, 'What should I do? What if they shoot me?" The quick-thinking young girl sprang up and ran to her mother's room where she knew there was a rifle. "I ran back into my mom's room and grabbed her little pink rifle, and there was two bullets in there," she told KRQE.

The details of what happened next are sketchy, but authorities believe that the armed young girl's movements scared the three men from the house. Unbeknownst to Gutierrez, the suspects ran from the house and jumped a fence, but their escape was witnessed by an off-duty police officer.

Gutierrez held her loaded rifle and got ready to fire it as she checked the rooms of the house, but the burglars had already fled. She quickly ran into her mother's closet and called 911. Authorities arrived on the scene and apprehended the three men involved in the burglary and a getaway driver. Gutierrez was grateful things ended the way they did and was also thankful that she had recently learned how to shoot a rifle. "I felt proud of myself," Gutierrez said after she reflected on her actions.

"...the right of the people keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

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Title Annotation:EXERCISING THE RIGHT
Author:Krey, Patrick
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:1U8NM
Date:Nov 4, 2013
Words:437
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