LaVerne McPhate's "long, horrific" Tuesday started around 6:15 in the morning. That's when three intruders broke into her Vidalia, Mississippi home. Three intruders knocked on LaVerne's door and waited for her to answer.
As LaVerne opened the door to see who was outside one of the thugs, identified by police as Hosie Dixon, pushed the door and knocked LaVerne off balance. He then put a knife to her throat and started to force her back into the house.
"I thought I was going to lose my life. He was really putting the force on me trying to push me back and I just didn't know what to do" she said.
We're all familiar with that burst of strength people have in crisis situations, correct? LaVerne had one of those. Despite being 75-years-old and facing a man much larger than her, LaVerne managed a burst of strength and speed - she forced Dixon away and fled to her bedroom.
"I knew if they got in the house they would get me but I don't know where I got the strength to push him off," LaVerne said. "He kind of stumbled when I pushed him and I ran back and got my gun."
After grabbing her revolver, a single gunshot fired into the air sent the three criminals running.
Dixon was arrested and charged with attempted armed robbery. The other two accomplices? A 13-year-old and a 16-year-old male who were booked as juveniles.