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Cumberland Co. Mother Shoots Home Intruder, Authorities Say

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EUREKA SPRINGS, N.C. — An armed intruder confronted with a pregnant Cumberland County mother Tuesday afternoon, allegedly trying to rob her home. The incident ended in a shootout that left the invader dead.

Detectives say 23-year-old Crystal Strickland -- 9 months pregnant and mother of two small children -- acted in self defense

"He broke into the apartment, she ran into the back bedroom where there were some children in the apartment to defend them, and when he entered into the bedroom area, shots were fired," said Debbie Tanna with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

Strickland told authorities she did not know the armed man. Her two young girls were taking a nap when the violent encounter happened. The 3-year-old said she wasn't scared.

"I didn't get hurt," she said.

Residents in the area said they have noticed a pattern of break-ins -- five in the last month, and most occurring in broad daylight.

"My house got robbed, the side door got kicked in," said neighbor Shawn Kilbourne. "They took some small things, including a pistol."

Kilbourne suspects the recent break-ins are related. He said if an armed man busted through his family's door, he would do the same thing his neighbor did.

Investigators are still trying to determine the identity of the home intruder. Detectives say that the case is still under investigation and that when it is complete it will be turned over the district attorney who decide whether to file charges.


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