A real estate agent was lucky to have her gun with her during a routine open house showing when a man, pretending to be a potential buyer, attacked her.

Dawna Hetzler was setting up for an open house when a man, identified as Ernest Chrisman, showed up at the property.

Initially, Hetzler didn’t think much of the meeting as the man seemed like a potential buyer, asking the “right questions” and talking about loans.

Hetzler said:

“He was asking the right questions about how long it had been on the market. We talked about loans and what he might qualify for.”

After touring the downstairs area, the two went upstairs to complete the showing.

But upon entering the master bedroom, the man pulled out a large knife and cornered Hetzler.

The attacker then pulled out a six-inch rope and ordered Hetzler into the closet.

The real estate agent told authorities:

“He said, ‘This is a knife, this is bear spray.’ After he said, ‘This is bear spray,’ he asked me to take off my ring and get into the closet.”

At this point, Hetzler panicked and pulled out her gun, preparing to defend herself.

And the attacker responded by soaking her with bear spray.

She said:

“As I drew my firearm, and he saw that I had that, he doused me with bear spray. At that point, I could not see. I could barely see. My skin was burning, my eyes were on fire, and so I fired.”

After the spray, Hetzler found herself blinded and with itchy eyes. Still, she managed to fire a shot in the attacker’s direction.

Though she didn’t hit her target, the shot was enough to send him running for the hills.

Hetzler was thankful she had a gun and expressed encouragement for other realtors and women to concealingly carry a firearm.

She said:

“My life was in danger, and if I did not have my firearm, I would not be here today.”

“I have heard about fearing open houses. I don’t live my life in fear. I live my life in faith. Faith trumps fear.”

“For my fellow realtors, we always hear take two to an open house. Two is not enough, you need to know what you’re going to do in any certain circumstance and be able to act on that.”

The attacker was later arrested and sentenced to 16 years in prison on charges of first-degree burglary, aggravated robbery, and second-degree assault.