The Hillsborough State Attorney's Office has cleared a woman who shot and killed a man in Brandon of any charges.
Vickie Rock was spending the night at her boyfriend's apartment in the Grand Oaks complex last month when they awoke to the sound of breaking glass.
Rock called 911 and gave a description of a man she saw breaking into a downstairs apartment. She says soon after, she heard fighting and a woman screaming for help.
"Somebody, please, help me. He's killing me. Please," recounted Rock, who spoke exclusively Monday to FOX 13. "He's killing me. He's killing me."
Rock says the violence was escalating, so she decided to act. An avid shooter, Rock got her boyfriend's gun.
"I just grabbed a .45 and I ran out the door and said 'the sheriff is on their way and I'm standing here with a gun,'" said Rock, who has a conceal and carry weapons permit.
Daniel Robertson was beating his girlfriend, maybe to death. Police say he was armed with a metal object. Rock says after she gave Robertson the warning, he attacked her, slammed her to the ground, and bashed her head in.
"If he got that gun, he was going to kill all of us," Rock said. "He was going to kill me. He was going to kill my boyfriend. He was going to kill her. He was in a rage."
Rock says Robertson was on top of her chest and wrestling her on the ground for the gun.
"He was trying to pry my fingers off the gun," Rock said. "He pushed me this way, and when he got too close, I popped off another round, and then I leveled off and shot him."
Robertson died from a single gunshot wound.
The bruises are mostly gone, but the pain isn't. Rock shared her story from her attorney's office in Ruskin. She has been called a hero, but she's not so sure.
"I don't feel like a hero. I do not feel like a hero," she said. "I'm a God-fearing person and I still have to answer to my maker for taking one of his children. Good or bad, God loves us all."
Vicki Hummer at the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay says domestic violence is all around us.
"This is happening behind closed doors, and often times people are pretty good about covering their tracks inside their own homes," Hummer said.
The Crisis Center helps battered women leave.
"The first message we need to get to women is that there is help out here and that you won't be left homeless or alone," Hummer said.
Vickie Rock says she and her ex had a violent relationship. She wants to become an advocate against domestic violence now.
"It's a false sense of security. A batterer is a batterer is a batterer," she said. "And he will batter you anytime he feels like it. So it's up to you to take your life into your own hands."
Fifty-year-old Rock says despite being cleared of any wrongdoing, the screams haven't stopped.
"I still hear him screaming. I still hear her screaming," Rock said.
Rock experiences daily headaches now and has damage to her retina and facial nerves. She also lost a tooth as a result of the attack.
She says she has talked to the woman whose life she may have very well saved, and that she thanked her for what she did.
Ironically, the shooting happened almost 10 years to the date that Rock's brother was murdered by his ex-girlfriend. She is serving life in prison.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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