A Florida woman says her faith saved her from a recent home invasion that might otherwise have resulted in an armed robbery.
Jacquie Hagler was having a jewelry party at her home in Lake City, Fla., with 15 other women Friday evening, when Derek Lee, 24, allegedly entered the house through an open door. Wearing a ski cap and bandanna, he is said to have brandished a gun and told the women to give him their phones and money.
According to CBS local affiliate WFMY News 2, some of the women thought that the home invasion was a party joke, but when Lee allegedly pointed a gun at one guest's head, Hagler put her faith into action.
"I stood up and said, 'In the name of Jesus, get out of my house now.' And he said, 'I'm going to shoot someone.' And I said it again, real boldly," Hagler told Jacksonville, Fla., news station WJXT Channel 4. "Everybody started chanting, 'Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,' and he did a quick scan of the room, and ran out the door as fast as he could go."
Lake City police said that Lee was later arrested after allegedly trying to rob a woman at a nearby ATM. According to a police report, the attempted robbery suspect, who matched Lee's description, ran into nearby woods after the would-be victim, a 62-year-old woman, began yelling at him.
Hagler said she has forgiven Lee and prayed for his salvation. "I'm hoping this situation has led him to trust the lord and turn his life around," she told WJXT.
The story was posted on Jan. 28 to the social new site Fark, where commenters made light of the incident.
"That would creep me out enough to make me leave too," user "KangTheMad" wrote.
But for the partygoers, the incident was no laughing matter.
"You knew that God's hand... He was in there," Donna Bowen, who was at the party with her 14-year-old daughter, told First Coast News. "It could have went so differently."