PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) The wife of a pastor shot a would-be armed robber late Thursday night as she, her husband, and their son were returning home for the night in Frankford.
FOX 29's Bruce Gordon spoke with the pastor and his wife.
The serenity of the church bells at St. James Lutheran offers no hint of the violence that played out right next door.
"Obviously, you never think that something like this is going to happen to you," Stephanie Cook told FOX 29.
Stephanie Cook, the pastor's wife, she's asked us not to show her face.
Pastor Robert Cook was held up on his doorstep just before 11 o'clock Thursday night as he returned home with his 12-year-old son by his side and Stephanie just behind them. An older man carrying what appeared to be a sawed-off shotgun approach and demanded Robert's wallet, according to police.
"I'm thinking, he doesn't have a mask. He's probably going to kill us. I need to stall," Robert explained.
Stephanie heard the commotion and saw the man strike her husband with the butt end of the weapon, So she reached back into their vehicle.
"And I turned back to the truck and put my purse down, opened it, and pulled out my gun," Stephanie explained.
A .22 caliber Ruger handgun, which is legal as a concealed carry. Robert knew what was about to happen.
"And I said, 'she's got a gun!' And he turned and I said , 'shoot him, shoot him!'," Robert explained.
"And at that time, I raised my gun and aimed it and told the man, 'Drop your gun! Drop your gun!,'" Stephanie explained. "And since he didn't drop the gun, I knew there was still a threat to them and to myself, and that's when I pulled the trigger."
Struck in the leg, the man ran off with Robert in pursuit. The would-be thief was quickly caught by police. The Cooks are shaken but also alive and well.
"I didn't want the man to die. I just wanted him to leave my family alone," said Stephanie.