The woman heard someone breaking into the apartment around 1 p.m., WXIN reports. When she went to investigate the noise, she found herself face-to-face with 19-year-old Michael Hawkins.
That's when she opened fire, killing him as he stood inside the apartment's doorway.
“I hate to see that it happened, but that’s what happens when you go into people’s home trying to take their stuff,” said neighbor Julius Radcliff.
“You have to defend yourself. We have laws for that,” said neighbor Janice Taylor.
Radcliff heard the gunshots and watched as one man ran away from the scene while a second person drove away. Police have not confirmed if those two are considered suspects in the case.
The shooting marks the second time in as many days an Indianapolis parent has been forced to shoot a home intruder. On Tuesday a father shot an 18-year-old suspect during a home invasion on the city’s northeast side.
Neighbors hope criminals start to think twice before breaking into other people’s homes.
“I hate that this is happening in our community like this. It’s sad. It’s sad,” said Taylor.
“It is disheartening that we see burglaries resulting in death, but we live in Indiana and it’s legal for people to have guns to protect themselves,” said IMPD Officer Aaron Hamer.
The mother and kids were not hurt and are said to be fully cooperating with police.