By: Teresa Mull

A West Virginia mother used a rifle to defend herself and her son from a pair of men who had forced their way into her home and begun beating her and her son with an axe handle.

The assailants, later identified as John Barber, 48, of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, and another man forced their way into the home of Mark Lutman and his mother and demanded money.

“[Victim Mark] Lutman and his mother were struck multiple times with the axe handle,” reports The Morgan Messenger. “Police were told that at one point during the altercation, Lutman’s mother got a rifle to defend herself and her son, and that gun was discharged multiple times inside the residence. During the physical altercation, both victims were injured as was Barber. Two other females were in the house but were uninjured during the incident.”

Lutman and his mother were both injured and treated at a nearby medical center. Barber was later arrested at his home, where he was found “bleeding profusely” and taken into custody.

Teresa Mull ( is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.