'She emptied the gun': Home intruder shot, killed by 80-year-old woman in Sultan identified

SULTAN, Wash. -- An 80-year-old woman took drastic action to save her husband during a home invasion.

Police said she shot the intruder but not before he managed to stab her elderly husband.

The elderly woman told Q13 News that her 75-year-old husband is in a lot of pain; he’s listed in serious condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

“It could have been a very bad situation,” said neighbor Richard Cross. “It could have been three homicides over there instead of one intruder biting the dust.”

Police said the 75-year-old husband watched the stranger break into the house through the back door and then hit him on his head before stabbing him. That’s when his 80-year-old wife grabbed a gun and killed the intruder.

Cross said his neighbor told him the suspect had been rifling through the medicine cabinet searching for drugs. But when police said she watched him attack her husband with a knife, she then pulled a gun and shot him.

“She didn’t think a second about it,” said Cross. “I mean it was just automatic. She emptied the gun.”

Police believe the suspect has no relation to the elderly couple, or their adult son who also was in the home during the attack.

The 80-year-old shooter told investigators she had never seen the suspect before in her life.

The Snohomish County medical examiner identified the intruder as 25-year-old Steven Sheppard from Gold Bar. Sheppard is a felon who did time for robbery in 2013.

The victim’s family asked for privacy and declined an on-camera interview.

But their neighbor is grateful the friendly, warm family next door survived the terrifying ordeal.

“I figured she’d be a basket case,” said Cross. “The biggest problem she had is she was tired.”

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the case. The county prosecutor will determine if any criminal charges are filed against the elderly woman involved in the shooting.