With bullets flying, family wrestles gun from home invader

By Brandi Cummings - bio | email

BISHOPVILLE, SC (WIS) - A Lee County family was awakened by a doorbell early in the morning, and opened the door to face a gun. They are alive because they took matters into their own hands.

"He said to me, 'I'm going to kill you,'" recounted Gloria Small.

Police say Rafael Barrett is the one who said it, and intended to follow through. "It's a wake up call for everybody," said Small.

Small was in her Bishopville home, when her doorbell rang at about 12:30am Friday, October 8. She opened the door and was face to face with a gun. What happened next was like something out of a movie.

She called out for her son Eric, who was visiting. Police say Barrett then forced Eric to the floor and tried to duct tape his hands. "I was praying and I said under my breath, 'God please help me,'" said Eric.

Meanwhile, Gloria reached out for an angel -- literally. "I threw it at him, then I bum-rushed him," she said. "I just went up to him and that's when Eric jumped up."

They decided to take matters into their own hands, by getting the gun. "We started tussling and tussling," said Gloria. "We went in this direction, then went in that direction. As we were going different places, the gun was going off."

At least four bullet holes, shattered glass and broken furniture are what's left behind from the scary ordeal. For the mother of three, fighting back was the only option. "I cannot let my son, both of us, get killed like this because this guy is going to kill us," said Gloria.

Small will never forget what happened in her home. She now plans to change her door, get a fence and an alarm, hoping to never face the same fate again.

The mother and son were able to take the gun and hold the suspect down until police arrived. 24 year old Rafeal Barrett was taken to jail just hours after the incident. He is facing burglary, attempted murder, robbery, kidnapping and other charges.

As of Thursday, October 14, Barrett remains in jail awaiting a bond hearing in General Sessions Court.

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