Mom shoots intruder when he finds her and 3 kids praying in closet, Mississippi cops say

A woman’s faith — and quick-thinking — likely saved her and her three children from a knife-wielding man accused of breaking into their Mississippi home, a sheriff said.

The woman’s husband, who was at work, called 911 on Monday, Jan. 22, about someone trying to force their way into the family’s home, according to the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office.

He said his wife and kids were hiding in a closet and gave deputies a description of the suspect’s car.

The intruder, identified as 42-year-old Steve Lamar Goss Jr., of Greenwood, had rammed his 2500 GMC pickup truck into the dining room after he couldn’t break down the front door, deputies said in a news release.

The woman and her kids hid in their “safe room,” praying and reciting Bible scriptures, “even as they heard Goss kicking in the doors” of their house, according to deputies. Goss, still armed with a knife, eventually found them in the closet.

That’s when the woman shot Goss, and he ran, authorities said.

On their way to the home, deputies said they spotted a vehicle — matching the description they received earlier — outside a grocery store.

They stopped Goss in the parking lot, but he ran inside the busy store, authorities said. Deputies caught up with him and realized he had been shot in the arm, according to the release.

After being treated at a hospital, Goss was arrested and charged with four counts of attempted murder, deputies said. He was also charged with burglary.

Investigators said the man was out on bond for a weapons-related charge when he reportedly broke into the family’s home.

“We can all learn a lot from this family about the importance of having an emergency plan in place in our homes and most importantly the power of prayer,” Carroll County Sheriff Clint Walker said in a statement.

“I thank the Lord for this father’s preparation; the bravery shown by the mother and children, and that what could have been a tragedy was transformed into a testimony of their faith in God.”

Carroll County is about 95 miles north of downtown Jackson.

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