"I was ready": McMinn Co. teen says she fired shotgun at would-be intruder as he fled

After a stranger attempted to break into her Sweetwater, Tenn. home, 15-year-old Alexis Taylor grabbed a shotgun to protect herself and her younger sister. (Images: WTVC, Taylor family)

After a stranger attempted to break into her Sweetwater, Tenn. home, a teenage girl grabbed a shotgun to protect herself and her younger sister.

15-year-old Alexis Taylor was home alone with her 14-year-old sister Madison when Alexis says a silver car backed up their driveway.

"Instantly, I knew something was wrong," Alexis said.

With their dad, Jeremy, at work, Alexis called to ask if they should be expecting anyone.

Over the phone, Jeremy Taylor told his daughter he didn't know the car or the person in it.

"You always play the hypothetical game with your children. What if? You run through the scenarios. If this happens, this is what you do. You try to plan them for every scenario and every case but until it actually happens, you just can’t put them in that situation," Taylor tells NewsChannel 9.

From inside, Alexis and Madison watched the stranger through the windows.

Alexis says she saw the man load two pressure washers from her family's carport into his car.

Than, the girls say the man made his way to their front door.

"That's what scared me because I was thinking, well, if he gets in here, what could happen to me, what could happen to my sister?" Alexis said.

Still on the phone, Alexis' father told her what to "go get the shotgun, go get the shotgun."

Her father told us he stressed the importance of firearm safety with his daughters from a young age.

"I was confident enough to know that she knew how to use the firearm if needed," he said.

With her fourteen-year-old isster inside, Alexis snuck around the side of the house, shotgun in hand, to confront the intruder.

From the corner of the home, Alexis says she saw the man playing with the handle on her front door.

Lexi says the man saw her out of the corner of his eye and made his way back toward his car.

Once he was inside, she walked closer to him.

"During that time my instinct was just telling me, I can’t let him leave with what he had of ours," she said.

Alexis told NewsChannel 9 she fired the gun at the man's car after "he started the ignition and took off."

She says she hit him.

McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy says Alexis did the right thing.

"I guess I'm a little old fashioned and I respect the rights of my citizens to defend themselves and defend their property," Sheriff Guy said.

Tennessee has a 'Stand Your Ground' law.

It says self defenders must reasonably believe force is needed immediately for protection.

When it comes to use of deadly force, a provision says defenders must reasonably believe there's an imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.

Investigators are still looking for the silver car and the man inside.

If you have any information call the McMinn County Sheriff's Office.

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