ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - When three teenage burglars pried open the door of a northwestAlbuquerque home they had no idea they would be met by a bravelittle girl, police said Wednesday.
Alyssa Gutierrez, 11, took matters into her own hands Tuesdaywhen police said when Miguel Marquez, Eduardo Zubiate and JesusQuintana broke into her home.
Gutierrez armed herself with a loaded rifle.
"I was planning, if they came right next to me, I would shootthem," Gutierrez said.
But Gutierrez, who will start sixth grade next week, never gotthe chance because she'd spooked the burglars.
Gutierrez said her cousins went to run an errand around thecorner from their home and were gone for a few minutes when sheheard the backdoor rattle.
"I thought it was (my cousin) Zachary playing a joke on me so Ijust turned the TV louder and ignored it," Gutierrez said.
But on the other side of the door were the burglars who priedopen the door with a crowbar. Gutierrez believes that they'd seenher cousins leave and chose to break into the home when theythought no one was there.
She said when the Marquez, Zubiate and Quintana got inside, sheheard them talk about stealing guns in the home. Gutierrez and herfamily told KRQE News 13 that they knew one of the suspects andbelieved the group targeted the home to steal their guns.
"My heart kept on pounding and pounding," Gutierrez said.
She said she slid to the floor from the couch when she saw thetrio, but quickly decided that hiding wouldn't do her any goodbecause the masked intruders had seen her.
"They had a rifle so I was thinking, 'What should I do? 'What ifthey shoot me?'" Gutierrez said.
That's when she made a beeline for her mother's room.
"I ran back into my mom's room and grabbed her little pinkrifle, and there was two bullets in there," she said.
With the loaded rifle, Gutierrez said she checked the bathroomand then the living room ready to defend herself. She said she ranto her mother's closet and called 911.
But while Gutierrez protected her home, she had no idea thesuspects had jumped the fence and that an off-duty APD officerdriving passed her home had spotted them.
Police arrested the three teens and their alleged getawaydriver, Abraham Bustillos, minutes after the break-in.
Gutierrez said she feels lucky because just a few days ago shehad learned how to shoot a rifle.
"I felt proud of myself," Gutierrez said.
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