Elderly Spokane woman describes fighting off police shooter with cane

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SPOKANE, Washington - An 87-year-old Spokane woman used her cane to fight off a man who shot two deputies Tuesday, but didn’t even realize the danger she faced until after the man had left.

Mary Rock’s first inkling that she might be in trouble came that afternoon when a large man jumped her fence and broke through her back door.

“Oh, it was terrible,” she told CBS News. “It was a big, heavy noise and I thought, ‘What in the world is going on around here?’”

Police said it was Charles Wallace, who’d just shot two Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies after they tried to arrest him on a warrant for federal drug charges.

“I said, ‘Get out of my house. You don’t belong in here. Get out of here,’” Rock said.

She said the man ripped her phone out of the wall so she couldn’t call for help.

So she gave him the business end of her cane.

“Now, I says, ‘Get out of here,’ and I began hitting him on the shoulder with my cane, and he pushed me over and I fell on the ground,” she said.

During the fight, the man spotted Rock’s purse.

“He says, ‘I want your car,’ and he found the key,” Rock said.

She chased the man out the house, demanded her keys back and hit him with her cane on his shoulders. Fortunately, the man didn’t fully fight back.

“They said that he did have a gun and I was lucky I didn’t get the gun,” Rock said.

Police said Wallace crashed Rock’s car after a high-speed chase and later shot and killed himself.

“(It was a) terrible, terrible thing to go through at my age,” she said.

Both of the deputies who were shot are in stable condition.

As for Wallace, the Spokane County Sheriff is questioning why he’d been released to a drug treatment facility, even though he faced a long sentence in federal prison on charges of heroin trafficking.

The Sheriff’s Office said the handgun Wallace had was stolen.

Investigators are working to determine if he had any accomplices.