Burglars broke into Sarah McKinley's home to steal her late cancer-stricken husband's pain medication

By Howard Breuer
Updated January 05, 2012 07:00 PM
Steve Sisney/The Oklahoman/AP

A widowed teen mom who shot dead one of two intruders on New Year’s Eve is being called a “hero” and the “Make My Day Mom” by the media – and the surviving burglar has been charged with murder.

But Sarah McKinley, 18, who fended off the intruders with her late husband’s shotgun and pistol, modestly says she only did what was necessary to protect her 3-month-old son.

“Obviously when somebody breaks into your house with a deadly weapon, they’re not here for anything good,” McKinley tells NewsOK. “But I am very sorry and it wasn’t anything I wanted to do.”

McKinley showed tremendous composure and maturity during an unimaginable holiday season that started when her husband Kenneth died of lung cancer Christmas Day and ended when two burglars, reportedly looking for any pain medications left behind, started slamming at the doors of her Blanchard, Okla. mobile home on Dec. 31.

“I walked over and got the 12 gauge, went in the bedroom and got the pistol, put the bottle in [my son’s] mouth, then I called 911, McKinley tells Eyewitness News 5, explaining she wanted the baby to remain quiet so the intruders would not know where she was standing as they charged through the door.

As she laid out the situation to dispatcher Diane Graham, McKinley said, “I’ve got two guns in my hand. Is it OK to shoot him if he comes in my door?”

Graham responded: “You do whatever you have to do to protect your baby.”

Justin Shane Martin, 24, died clutching a knife in his gloved left hand, says a police affidavit.

His alleged accomplice, Dustin Louis Stewart, 29, who turned himself in to police, has been charged with murder. The sheriff says the charge is appropriate when a felony leads to someone being killed, whereas McKinley did not violate the law in any way.