DURANT — A 12-year-old girl said she never had fired a gun before she took aim at an intruder while home alone this week.
“I had to do what I had to do,” Kendra St. Clair said Friday. “I was scared out of my mind.”
Kendra used her mother's handgun to shoot the intruder Wednesday while she was home on fall break. Her mother had shown her how to shoot it, she said.
“Normally I do not leave my kids at home alone,” Debra St. Clair said. “But being a single mother of two with a full-time job, I had to that day.”
Her son attends a different school, which was not on fall break.
St. Clair said they are all still in shock, but commended her daughter's strength.
“She's a trooper,” she said. “She's staying strong and confident. She's handling this much better than I would have.”
Kendra said even though she was terrified, “I kept my head on straight.”
Stacey Adam Jones, 32, was booked into the Bryan County jail Thursday. Bail was set at $250,000 at Jones' arraignment hearing Friday afternoon, assistant Bryan County District Attorney Tim Webster said. His next court appearance will be a preliminary hearing conference in December.
Kendra, a sixth-grader at Calera Elementary, called her mother about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday to say a man was ringing the doorbell and banging on the door, St. Clair said.
“She said he was continuously ringing the doorbell and when no one answered he opened the screen door and started banging on the door,” St. Clair said. “She told me she didn't know where he had gone after that.”
St. Clair told her daughter to get her .40-caliber Glock pistol and go into the bathroom closet, which has reinforced locks on the door.
“She heard him break into the back door,” St. Clair said. “He knew someone was in there because she was watching TV and had paused it.”
According to the 911 recording, the intruder was inside the house for about six minutes while Kendra was told by the dispatcher to stay on the phone and keep it on speaker.
“The bathroom light switch makes a noise when you turn it on and Kendra heard it,” St. Clair said.
As Kendra saw the door knob turn slowly, she fired the gun, her mother said.
Jones was hit in the chest, Undersheriff Ken Golden said.
Jones ran out of the house and was chased down by Bryan County officers, he said.
He was taken by helicopter to a Plano, Texas, hospital to be treated before he was taken into custody, Golden said.
When the dispatcher told Kendra to lay the gun down after she shot it, she didn't want to because she heard more people in the house, her mother said. The dispatcher assured her the police were there.
“When she got out of the closet she ran to the officer and squeezed him, and he hugged her back,” St. Clair said.
St. Clair said she doesn't know whether the intruder wanted to steal something or was after her daughter.
“I was told by the police that he had been homeless for 10 days and that he might have been looking for food,” she said. “I would hate it if I knew he was watching her.
“I am just first so thankful to God that he was keeping an eye out for her,” St. Clair said.