KANSAS CITY, Mo - People in a Kansas City neighborhood say a woman narrowly escaped death during an early morning home invasion.
John Vitale woke up to the sound of a gunshot in his front yard. When he got out of bed, he saw his next door neighbor running through his front door.
Police are still searching for the suspect that neighbors believe had every intention on killing the woman who lived next door to Vitale next door.
"I've been in combat and I've never seen anybody as scared as I've seen her," Vitale said. "She was frantic."
And the woman was scared for good reason. Police say a man threw a brick through her sliding door. He then ran into her room, as she was sleeping upstairs. While wearing a mask, police say the suspect held a rag soaked in gasoline over her face.
"All she had time to do was grab her phone and try to dial 911," Vitale said.
The victim then broke free and tried to run next door. Police say the suspect ran after her and fired one shot in the front yard. The woman was able to run into Vitale's front door and lock it behind her.
"That was by the grace of God. From what she said he almost caught her at my door. If my door would not have been unlocked he would've killed her on my door step. I believe that," said Vitale.
Vitale says he ran outside with his gun in tow but the suspect was gone.
"He was out to do some evil, harmful stuff to her," he said.
Vitale says he never leaves his front door open but has never been happier that he forgot to lock it. Now he hopes police make an arrest, so his next door neighbor doesn't have to live in fear.
"If he didn't achieve it this time, he might try to come back," said Vitale.
Vitale says the woman told him the suspect also had a hammer and a jug full of gasoline with him. He believes his next door neighbor had seen the suspect before and was able to give police a name and very specific description.