Crime & Courts

Army medic mom who exchanged gunfire with burglars thanks supporters

Semantha Bunce, right, was shot as she exchanged gunfire with men who broke into her house.
Semantha Bunce, right, was shot as she exchanged gunfire with men who broke into her house.

Speaking from her hospital bed, a Charlotte woman shot and injured by men who broke into her home last week thanked supporters across the nation.

“Words can truly not express the amount of gratitude that me and my family have for everybody,” she said on WSOC-TV. “I just want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

Semantha Bunce was feeding her baby just before 10 a.m. on Nov. 3 when intruders knocked on the front door, rang the doorbell and then kicked in the door. Bunce grabbed her gun, met them at her bedroom door and exchanged gunfire with them, family members told the Observer.

She was shot several times and was recovering Wednesday at Carolinas Medical Center. Her baby wasn’t injured during the exchange of gunfire at the home on Matlea Court, off the Plaza Road extension. Police initially said there was more than one intruder, but haven’t said whether investigators were looking for anyone else in connection with the shooting.

Bunce, 21, is a member of the U.S. Army’s 105th Engineer Battalion, based in Raeford. Paul Bunce III told WSOC-TV he believes his wife’s training as a combat medic allowed her to stay mentally focused and calm during what was a fight for her life.

The case, which police and family members believe was an act of random crime, has made national headlines.

Reco Latur Dawkins Jr., 23, is charged with attempted murder, felony breaking and entering and conspiracy in the case. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said he turned himself in to the department’s violent criminal apprehension team Sunday morning. He was being held in Mecklenburg County jail on $1 million bail.

Cleve R. Wootson Jr.: 704-358-5046, @CleveWootson