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elderly woman's reflection in a mirror and a person breaking into a home

85-Year-Old Outguns Home Intruder In Self-defense

Uplifting News

85-Year-Old Outguns Violent Home Intruder - Saves Herself and Her Disabled Son

Never underestimate a mother.

Christine Jenneiahn may be 85 years old but that doesn't mean she's an easy target. When a masked, armed man broke into her Idaho home threatening her and handcuffing her to a chair, she fought back, sustaining multiple gunshot wounds and ultimately killing the attacker.

AND she lived to tell the tale.


Elderly Woman Wakes Up to a Nightmare

Wooden chair and handcuffs used by armed assailant in home invasion in Idaho.

Wooden chair and handcuffs used by armed assailant in home invasion in Idaho.

KSL News/Bingham County Sheriff's Office


It was 2 a.m. on March 13 when Christine woke up, shocked to find herself staring down the barrel of a loaded 9-mm pistol.

According to the Bingham County Sheriff's Office, the assailant, wearing a black ski mask and a camouflage jacket, broke in through a window.

After pistol-whipping her across the head, the man, later identified as 39-year-old Derek Condon, dragged her out of bed and down the hall to the living room where he handcuffed her to a wooden chair. With a gun to her head, Condon then demanded to know if there was anyone else in the house and where she kept the valuables.

Wanting to protect her adult son with disabilities who was sleeping downstairs, Christine lied and told him that she was alone.

Condon left her handcuffed in the living room while he went off in search of loot. Christine seized the opportunity. She lugged the chair to her bedroom, grabbed her .357 Magnum revolver from under her pillow, and then returned to the living room, hiding the gun in the couch cushions beside her.

Then, she waited.

At some point Condon returned, threatening to kill her. Terrified, Christine knew it was "now or never." She drew her gun and fired, striking him twice.

"Condon returned fire and emptied a 9 mm pistol into Christine striking her multiple times in her abdomen, leg, arm, and chest," states a report posted to the County Sheriff's Facebook page.

Condon crawled to the kitchen where he died of his wounds. Christine, still handcuffed to the chair and riddled with bullet holes, "fell to the floor." She remained there for 10 HOURS before her son finally came upstairs and gave her a phone so she could call 9-1-1.

Police arrived just after noon to find her son, David, standing in the doorway. Officers "provided life-saving measures on her" and rushed her to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls. She has since been released.

An Incredible Act of Bravery

The official incident report on a home invasion in Bingham County, Idaho

The official incident report on a home invasion in Bingham County, Idaho.

Bingham County Sheriff's Office/Facebook


During their investigation, deputies discovered that Condon was suffering from mental health issues and PTSD from the time he served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

In an interview with police, Christine revealed that she didn't want to shoot Condon but she felt like she didn't have a choice. She feared for both her life and her son's life.

"I'm a very nice old lady but you can only push somebody so far."

Christine Jenneiahn via KSL News

As for the prosecuting attorney's office, they won't be pressing any charges.

"This case presents an easy analysis of self-defense and justifiable homicide. It also presents one of the most heroic acts of self-preservation I have heard of," Prosecuting Attorney Ryan W. Jolley wrote.

Summarizing the harrowing events he said, "He [Condon] had told Christine he would kill her multiple times. He had broken into her home in the middle of the night, handcuffed her to a chair, and struck her with his firearm. Her disabled son was downstairs in his room."

"That Christine survived this encounter is truly incredible. Her grit, determination, and will to live appear to be what saved her that night."

Prosecuting Attorney Ryan W. Jolley

Not to mention, never mess with Mama.

In the face of extreme danger, Christine didn't let her age or fear prevent her from saving her life and that of her son. She did what any mother would do...fiercely protect her child at all costs. Christine's heroic actions don't just speak to the power of self-preservation, they are a true testament to a mother’s love. And there is nothing in this world more powerful.

*Featured image contains photo by Anna Shvets and Rafael Classen rcphotostock.com

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