Mary Scott, WBIR-TV
HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WBIR) - Louise Howard's phone is ringing off the hook. Everyone in Bulls Gap wants to hear her story. And she has quite the story to tell.
"I have always sworn I would kill somebody if I caught them in my house. And I sure tried," Howard, 86, said.
Friday afternoon she had just returned from getting the mail when she saw a suspicious car outside her house.
She called the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office to be cautious. While she was on the phone, she heard someone breaking in.
"The cat shot through here screaming like you have never heard," Howard said. "She told me, 'I'm not going to hurt you. I just want your money.' I was going to give her the money. I don't have much money. I don't carry money."
Howard pulled out her gun. She said the woman attacked her from behind and pulled her down the hallway.
"I was surrounded," she said.
The gun went off in the struggle and left a bullet hole in the wall. The thief left with her gun and her purse. It contained all of her keys, some cash and credit cards, but most importantly her wedding ring from her late husband.
"Things that you can never have again. My ring was engraved. 'All my life. All my life. Harrol,'" Howard said.
Howard injured her hands in the struggle. But she's more worried about her cat than herself.
"He injured his eye, ear, and his hip. And he hasn't eaten since," she said. She believes the thief kicked the cat.
Howard stayed on the phone with the sheriff's office during the struggle so they heard it all as it was happening.
They are currently following leads and looking for the woman who attacked her. Howard described her as 5'10" and thin, with long dark hair.
You are asked to call the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office at 423-272-4848 if you have any information.