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Brenda Thompkins awoke early Sunday morning to find a stranger standing near the bed in which she and her ex-husband, Christopher Thompkins, were sleeping on the second floor of his Larimer home. Startled, the couple jumped out of bed, and the intruder fled the room, Thompkins said.

Minutes later, Pittsburgh police officers responding to a burglary call at the house in the 100 block of Finley Street arrived, according to Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler. It was shortly before 4 a.m. When officers tried to enter the house from the front porch, someone inside began shooting in their direction, Toler said. Officers returned fire, killing the 57-year-old homeowner later identified by the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office as Christopher Thompkins.

“They shot the wrong guy,” said Brenda Thompkins, 51, of Penn Hills. “He didn’t want to hurt no cops. He was trying to save his mother.”

She said her ex-husband was concerned about his mother, who was in a room downstairs. Brenda Thompkins said she has a license to carry a pistol, which her ex-husband asked her for after the intruder left the room. She said he retrieved the gun from her purse and left the room.

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