Attorney: Woman had every right to shoot attacker

Attorney: Woman had every right to shoot attacker
The entrance to the Galleria Parking Garage, the place where the attempted robbery happened. (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News)
The entrance to the Galleria Parking Garage, the place where the attempted robbery happened. (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News)
Brenda McWaters (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News)
Brenda McWaters (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News)
Brian Butler (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News)
Brian Butler (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's a scary situation you may have found yourself in: Alone in a parking garage and wondering if someone's following you.  When it happened to a woman Tuesday night on South Fifth Street she shot her attacker.

Many people in the area said they were surprised about the robbery and shooting because it wasn't that late, just after 6 p.m., a time when people were leaving work and it happened in a seemingly safe area right next to the Cathedral of the Assumption. Those who park in and around the old Galleria Garage on South Fifth Street couldn't believe an attempted robbery and shooting happened there.

"It's extremely scary," said Brenda McWaters, who works next door to the garage at the Cathedral. "We had someone snatch a purse from one of our parishioners that was leaving church recently in the daylight."

Since that time, McWaters says she and some co-workers have felt uneasy. Tuesday night, police say as a man pulled a knife, pushed a woman in her car and demanded money in the garage, she pulled a gun out and shot him. In Kentucky, if you're protecting yourself in your car, the Castle Doctrine applies.

"If you're in your home or your vehicle and someone is invading your home or your vehicle, you have the right repel that invasion with deadly force," explained Brian Butler, a Louisville attorney.

Butler said in this case it doesn't matter if the victim was in her car or not.

"If this man is robbing her, he has hit her, he has a knife to her throat," said Butler, "she has every right in the world to shoot him."

As the woman flagged down police, the wounded suspect headed up the street, ending up at PNC Plaza at 5th and Jefferson. An ambulance was called and he was taken to University of Louisville Hospital.

People who work downtown, like McWaters, told us their best safety bet is to double up. McWaters said they never go to their car alone.

"We're pretty aware of downtown issues at night," said McWaters.

"Good for her," Butler said of the victim, "thank God she had that gun, and the training and she was able to use it and she's home safe with her friends and her family.
 
Butler said hopefully the next person who thinks about committing a strong arm robbery think "I wonder what's in that lady's purse?"

Security employees at the parking garage said they couldn't comment if security cameras recorded video of the attempted robbery and shooting.

The man will likely face robbery and assault charges.

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