Semantha Bunce is a mom at 21-years-old, but when she was breastfeeding her 4-month-old boy on Tuesday last week, the last thing she expected was to find herself in an all-out gunfight in her the Charlotte, North Carolina home. That is exactly what happened, and now the young mom is recovering in a local hospital from gunshot wounds to the stomach and the arm.
According to her husband, Paul Bunce — a medical technician who was at work when the horrifying home invasion took place — Semantha, a member of the United States Army 105th Engineer Battalion, immediately put her son, Bentley, out of sight by laying him in his crib as soon as she heard pounding on her front door at around 10 a.m.
By the time she had secured the baby, two men had already kicked the door down and were inside the house, according to accounts by family members and as reported in The Charlotte Observer newspaper.
The quick-thinking mom retreated to her bedroom, where she knew a gun — owned legally by her husband — was stored. Who shot first remains unclear, but that’s when a gun battle broke out between Semantha Bunce and the two intruders.
“She was in the gunfight in the house. Multiple shots going back and forth,” Paul Bunce said, according to a report on WCNC-TV in Charlotte.
Paul Bunce told WSOC-TV that his wife met the home invaders at the front door to the home, and they opened fire on her when she ran into a stairwell and she started shooting back.
“I think it was a shock to the intruders just as much as it was to her,” Paul Bunce said.
The couple also have an older child who was at school when the attack happened.
Blake Layman Shot By Homeowner Who Kills His Friend, Gets 55 Years For Murder Chris McKinley Shot By Cops In Wrong-House Blunder: 'Why Did They Shoot Me? Why Shoot My Dog?' Sharon Doyle Threatened By Robber In Her Own Shop. He Should Have Checked Her Resumé First
While Bunce was wounded, it appears the intruders she battled were not. On Sunday, a 23-year-old career criminal named Reco Dawkins Jr. turned himself in to the Charlotte-Meckelenburg police Violent Criminal Apprehension Unit. According to the Observer report, when Dawkins was arrested Sunday after being grilled by detectives, it marked his seventh arrest since he turned 20.
The suspect’s previous busts came mainly in breaking and entering charges. He served three years of probation one conviction. But though it is lengthy, Dawkins previous criminal record did not contain violent attacks such as the home invasion and alleged attempted murder of Semantha Bunce.
Police now say that though the investigation into the home invasion remains ongoing, whether they remain on the hunt for a second intruder was unclear as of Sunday, even though police initially believed that two men broke into the Bunce home.
The neighborhood where the Bunce family resides had reportedly experienced three break-ins in recent months, but none were as brazen or violent as the daylight home invasion, with the kicked-down door and hail of bullets that reportedly happened last Tuesday.
“We’re still freaking out about what happened,” one neighbor, who asked WSOC-TV to with hold his name, told the station after visiting Semantha in the hospital. “She’s doing fantastic. She’s a warrior. She’s still beat up but she’ll make it out.”
Both police and the Bunce family appear to believe that the home was targeted at random by the violent intruders.
Bunce continues to recover at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Paul Bunce said that his wife, who endured multiple surgeries on her wounds, has “good days and bad days” as she recovers; but, her morale received a boost when she heard that her suspected attacker, or one of her suspected attackers, had turned himself in to police and was under arrest.
Because health benefits on Paul Bunce’s new job have not taken effect yet, friends of the family have created a GoFundMe page to raise money to aid in the recovery of Semantha Bunce.
[Photo via Support Semantha Bunce/GoFundMe]