Dorothy Cunningham and Marty Killinger are being honored as “pistol-packing grandmas” for chasing off four intruders at their mobile home.
The 75-year-old Cunningham grabbed her Luger and fired several shots over the heads of the intruders Tuesday night.
“Henceforth, Dorothy Cunningham and Marty Killinger will be known as the Pistol-Packing Grandmas,” Grant County Sheriff Bill Wiester said Friday during a presentation at the Grant County Courthouse.
“This is a clear message to criminals that senior citizens won’t tolerate this type of behavior from these young punks,” Wiester said.
Deputies later arrested Jeffrey Strickland, 20, two 15-year-old boys and a 16-year-old boy, all from Moses Lake, on suspicion of first-degree burglary and second-degree attempted robbery.
The four allegedly broke into the women’s home Tuesday night and demanded keys to Killinger’s car. But Cunningham pulled out the German pistol and sent them scrambling from the house, Wiester said.
“I was raised in the Tetons, and whenever I wasn’t herding sheep or cattle or working in the fields, I’d take a .22 rifle and target shoot,” Cunningham said. “I’m not afraid of guns, and I know how to use them.”
Cunningham said she and Killinger, 61, were in their bedrooms Tuesday night when someone knocked on their door, asking to use the telephone.
When Cunningham unlocked the door, a man pushed his way through and began demanding the keys to Killinger’s car. The intruders apparently cut the wires to the telephone before entering the house.
“I picked up the phone and realized the lines were cut, then I knew this was serious. They came prepared,” Killinger said.
While Killinger argued and struggled with one of the men in the living room, Cunningham got the pistol from her bedroom and ordered the intruders to leave.
“I said some strong words to them that I don’t usually use,” Cunningham said. “I told them to get out or I’d shoot and kill them.”
After they ran out of the house, the boys stayed in the yard and taunted the two women.
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