Air Force veteran fights off armed robber during Wilkinson County home invasion

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IRWINGTON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – An Air Force veteran came face-to-face with a gunman in her own Wilkinson County home.

Veteran Rosaland Stubbs and her 12-year-old son came home Thursday around 1 p.m. and caught 33-year-old Jamaarl Butts inside their Lavender Road house. Stubbs did not want to go on camera. She told Wilkinson County Sheriff’s investigators Butts was holding the door as her son was trying to get inside.

"He pulled a gun on them when she and her son came in,” said Wilkinson County Sheriff Richard Chatman. “She immediately grabbed the gun. That’s just a mom’s instinct. I’m protecting my child."

Chatman says the homeowner and robber fought over the gun.

"She asked him please don’t hurt my child,” added the sheriff. “So she just grabbed the gun they struggled and when they finished struggling, he ran out of the house."

Butts was in the area cutting grass for a lawn care service. Chatman says investigators found him shortly after robbing the home.

"This particular individual had left the area and was actually returning back as officers were coming to the scene,” he explained. “The description that the victim gave us as far as the clothing items that he was wearing was found in the truck."

Deputies also found items stolen during the robbery, including a Playstation, games, and jewelry. The sheriff says witnesses saw Butts minutes before he committed the crime.

"I was riding down the road and I saw a guy walking,” said the victim’s nephew, Kareem Sanders. “I didn’t think to much of it. I thought he was probably going to a neighbor’s house. Not one time did I think he was going to come here and try and steal something from my family."

Sanders says his entire family is still upset about the home invasion. But they along with other Wilkinson residents are calling Stubbs a hero.

"It was very heroic of her but then again she does have military training,” explained Sanders. “So [Butts] not knowing that, he thought he was just going to get away with it. But it turned around, and it backfired on him.

"I feel really sad about what happened yesterday,” says Natalie Underwood, the victim’s aunt. “But I am so proud of the actions that Rosaland took yesterday to protect her family. It could have been a whole lot worse.”

Butts is facing several charges including armed robbery, burglary, and aggravated assault.