What happened when granny got her gun …

2014-08-01 00:00

A KEY in the wrong side of the door, a bored dog and a lucky shot.

These are what saved Rina Hartung (68) from two robbers who entered her farmhouse outside Standerton in Mpumalanga on Monday morning.

She was busy hanging up the washing and baking cakes and her husband Phillip (70) was away at the doctor.

“We never have problems here, everything was quiet. I went back into the house and heard my Jack Russell barking, but I was too busy in the kitchen to go look, as I would normally have done.

“The next moment, two men burst through the back door and grabbed my wrists,” said Hartung.

After they took her cellphone and demanded money and firearms, she took them to the bedroom to get the keys to the safe.

“I unlocked the safe and took out the rifles, but they wanted a revolver. I then said I have one in another room and took them there.

“One walked ahead of me and one behind, but at the room they both went ahead and one dropped the rope that they wanted to tie me with.”

As she stooped to pick up the rope, she saw the key to the room was on the outside of the door. She quickly slammed the door shut and locked both robbers inside.

As the robbers started breaking the door down, she locked herself in her bedroom and sat waiting for them — her revolver shakily aimed at her bedroom door.

“The moment one kicked the door, I shot. I did not hit anyone, but they got a fright. Then it became very quiet,” Hartung said.

When she heard one of the dogs lie down outside her bedroom door, she decided it was safe to go out to the telephone.

But as if in a horror movie, one of the robbers then jumped at her from behind a pillar in hallway.

“I fired a shot at him but it ricocheted off the wall and hit his arm. He gave a little hop and ran out of the kitchen door,” Hartung said.

Uncertain what to do next, she then sat for over an hour in her bedroom, revolver cocked and ready to fire. When one of the smaller dogs whined and scratched at the door, she knew it was safe to go out and telephone the neighbours.

She said both crooks were caught after one was spotted from the air. One firearm, her cellphone and her purse were stolen, but she was unharmed.

“I try not to think what could have happened, but what the Lord let happen. I would not have liked to have fatally shot one of them,” Hartung said.

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