For the vast majority of parents, nothing is more important than the safety of their children. And you can bet that when their kids are in danger, most moms and dads would do anything to ensure they’re okay. North Carolina mom Semantha Bunce was no different—especially when she found herself in severe danger one day in November 2015.
It was an otherwise ordinary day for the young mother. With her husband at work and their young daughter at school, and Semantha was home quietly breastfeeding their infant son. Suddenly, every parents’ worst nightmare became a reality—and Semantha’s maternal instincts were put to the ultimate test.
Semantha and Paul Bunce were a happily married couple from North Carolina who had two small children. They may have been young, but they were committed to each other and their growing family.
Paul Bunce / Facebook
Though she was only 21, Semantha had accomplished quite a bit. She also served as a combat medic for the National Guard as part of Raeford, North Carolina’s HHC 105th Engineer Battalion.
As prepared as she was, Semantha could have never expected what would happen to her one seemingly ordinary day in November 2015, while she was spending time at home with her four-month old son, Bentley.
The young mother was alone at home with her infant son while Paul worked and their daughter was at school. Little did Semantha know that an afternoon that had begun like any other would quickly turn into a crisis.
The Bunce Family / GoFundMe
Semantha had been breastfeeding Bentley when, suddenly, she heard a noise. Before she could react, burglars—who were armed with guns—forcefully knocked down her front door.
That would be enough to make just about anyone freeze with fear. Yet in that moment, Semantha’s maternal instincts—and Army training—kicked in, and she did something the intruders couldn’t have expected…
The Bunce Family / gofundme
Semantha first needed to get out of harm’s way—and fast. With Bentley in her arms, she bolted upstairs to her bedroom. It was a good first move, but she knew that hiding could only protect them for so long…
Desperate times called for desperate measures. Once in the bedroom, Semantha retrieved Paul’s gun. While she was lucky to have some sort of protection—plus the appropriate military training—no mother would ever want to be in this position.
trezaei / YouTube
Unfortunately, the intruders were not deterred—and they started shooting at Semantha and Bentley from the stairwell. Semantha was left with no choice. That’s when she fired back from the bedroom door.
Al Stevens / Wikimedia Commons
Thankfully, the violent, terrifying shootout was cut mercifully short when the mother’s returning fire apparently scared off the intruders, leading them to ultimately run away from the house.
Unfortunately, while Bentley was fine, Semantha didn’t escape unscathed. Not only did her home suffer serious damage, but she was severely wounded—she’d gotten shot not once, but twice.
Thankfully, Semantha’s injuries weren’t life-threatening—though she still had to go into recovery. Moreover, besides the physical and emotional pain, the medical bills put an enormous financial burden on the family.
Paul Bunce / Facebook
Fortunately, Semantha’s comrades wasn’t going to let her down. Hollie Ritchie, a friend of her—and a fellow soldier in the HHC 105th Engineer Battalion—set up a GoFundMe page to help the Bunces pay their growing medical bills and for damage to the house.
Though the goal was only $15,000, the campaign ultimately raised more than $66,000 from people all over the United States—some of them complete strangers—who wanted to help this heroic mother and her family.
The Bunce Family / GoFundMe
Countless folks, especially those who knew her, were impressed by Semantha’s fighting spirit. “To know that I know somebody that is that strong-willed and that much of a fighter is unbelievable,” Hollie wrote on the GoFundMe page.
Semantha Hunter-Bunce / Facebook
Soon after the incident, news outlets all over the United States were asking an emotional Semantha to share her story. They couldn’t believe that a vulnerable mother would be able to ward off burglars the way she did. Still, it didn’t come as much of a surprise to the friends and family closest to her…
“She is an amazing person, mother, wife, friend and soldier,” Hollie continued on the GoFundMe page. “Would do anything for anyone and would quite literally give you the shirt off of her back if you needed it.”
This story had another happy ending, too, as justice was served. One of the intruders, 23-year-old Reco Latur Dawkins Jr., turned himself in to the authorities. He faced breaking and entering charges, as well as attempted murder.
Perhaps most importantly, though, was that baby Bentley didn’t even get a scratch. He’d be able to enjoy his childhood and have a long and happy life ahead of him… and he’ll have his brave, quick-thinking mother to thank for it.
Semantha certainly had no way of knowing that something so traumatic would happen to her on such an ordinary day, but it was a relief that she knew just what to do to defend herself—and protect her child.
This is one special family. Hopefully, they’re able to move past these events and live their lives as fearlessly as ever!
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