TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. - A Clearwater man is behind bars and a woman has her neighbor to thank for saving her life.
Neighbors at Pine Ridge at Lake Tarpon are in awe of how one mom stepped in to help her neighbor, even risking her own safety.
31-year-old Brittany Cheek didn’t hesitate for a single second. When she heard her neighbor screaming, she grabbed her gun, and took action. Carolyn Lubecki says that makes her a hero, “Just an amazing act of bravery.”
Lubecki called 911 when she heard screams. She explained, “You kind of panic in situations and thank god Brittany Cheek didn’t. She didn’t think twice.”
Pinellas County deputies say 18-year-old Daniel Morley, wearing only his boxers, started pounding on the door of the condo at 1344 Pine Ridge Circle East around 4 a.m. on Saturday.
Susan Bass noticed the man was bleeding and opened her door to help. Instead, Morley attacked her. That’s when Bass’ neighbor across the hall grabbed her gun and shot Morley in the leg. Cheek's 3-year-old son was just a few feet away.
Tammy Harrison, the owner of a female-oriented gun shop called Girls Gun Wild in Largo, says more women are packing heat to stay safe.
“We’re all in that boat right now. It can happen to any of us at any time.”
Harrison's business has doubled in the past two years with women now arming themselves with handguns.
“It sort of pushes you over the fence to hear of crimes like this. Like hey, she protected her 3-year-old, that could have been me,” she said enthusiastically.
The Girls Gun Wild shop offers 4 safety classes a month exclusively for women, and taught by law enforcement.
“It just kind of brings the mamma bear out in you and you know you’re going to be okay,” Harrison added.
Neighbors in the quiet, unincorporated Tarpon Springs condo community say they're just grateful to have community members who care.
“The willingness to without question just help her neighbor in need without a thought is amazing,” Lubecki explained.
Morley's stepdad tells ABC Action News he isn’t sure why his son was at the condo building and he is unsure of any ties to the community, adding, “We'll let the judicial system take its course.”