A Tampa Bay mother held an intruder in her home at gunpoint for a terrifying 13 minutes until police arrived at the scene. Lauren Richards, a mother of four, initially made a call reporting a suspicious person on her property 21 minutes before police arrived.
On Saturday, May 25, 2019, Richards called 911 at 12:41 a.m., according to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office representative.
"I tell  somebody just came into my door. He's unfamiliar. I don't recognize him," Richards told WFLA.
While waiting for officers to arrive to the suspicious person call, Richards looked outside her home in Rolling Oaks Estates in Hudson, Fla., and noticed her mini-pig, Milton, had his nose to the ground. She realized the animal had picked up a scent and that someone either had been in her garage or was currently in her garage.
Richards, already afraid the man would break into her home, took her gun and entered the garage. Eight feet away was the intruder, identified as Devin Cooke, 25. Richards realized that her typically open garage door was now shut.
She placed a second call to police at 12:54 a.m.
In audio obtained by the station of the police call, Richards says, "I have a gun pointed and I need the police to show up immediately. I called 10 minutes ago and nobody has shown up."
"The two calls were merged by dispatch approximately 90 seconds later, at 12:56 a.m., and additional units, including Air, K9 and a Sgt., were dispatched," the representative of Pasco County Sheriff's Office tells Yahoo Lifestyle. "Given the priority of the second call, those units responded with lights and sirens, as opposed to the first unit, who was en route following normal traffic laws, given the fact that the suspect had left the area and the call had been subsequently downgraded."
While waiting for police, a neighbor, Hector Nieves, grabbed his gun and went over to help. His wife, Melodie, also called 911 during the incident.
"I want to make sure the cops know my husband went... with a gun over there to protect her," Melodie told dispatch.
Hector told WFLA: "I'm just like I gotta help, you know. She's got little kids. We held him at gunpoint until the cops showed up."
The first unit, a sergeant, arrived on the scene at 1:07 a.m.
"Had she not had a gun and been ready to protect herself or call the neighbors, she might not be standing here," Melodie told the outlet. "Who knows what would happen."
In a police report provided to Yahoo Lifestyle, the intruder was allegedly under the impression that his grandparents had been murdered and he was distraught. He was transported for a mental health evaluation.
"On May 29, upon further investigation, a probable cause order was issued for Devin Cooke for the burglary charges. The medical facility where he was staying was alerted to this and a police hold was placed on him. This means that when he is able to be released from the facility, the facility will notify PSO and he will be released to our custody, under the burglary charge," the representative says.
The representative continues: "Our priority is ensuring the safety of all parties involved. On May 25, our priority was to secure the scene and ensure both the caller and the suspect were unharmed. Given the substantial amount of witnesses during the incident, and the fact that the suspect remained in medical custody during that period, the investigation could be completed at a later date than the incident date."
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