Marieanne Schadler was simply washing out a garbage can when suspected bank robber, Brendan McGarrett, 44, burst into her Farmington yard on June 2.
"I said, ‘Can I help you?’” Schadler recalled. “And then he turned around with a smile and said, ‘Yes’ and then he pulled out a gun."
He demanded her car, Schadler said, but the keys were in the house so she calmly led McGarrett inside and asked him what was wrong.
"He said, ‘I can't tell you. I did something terrible,’" Schadler remembers.
Farmington Police say McGarrett robbed a Bristol bank that June 2 morning and that Richard Gordon, 34, drove the getaway car.
They were chased by Bristol and Farmington Police Departments, who say McGarrett fired at officers until he hopped out of the van and ran.
After encountering Schadler, McGarrett held her in her home at gunpoint until he grew suspicious, she said.
"You know, I think the police are outside,” Schadler remembers him saying. “And I mentally thought, I couldn't possibly be that lucky."
But Drak, Farmington's police dog, had led Officers Sean Fritz, Ryan Bangham and Joseph Capodiferro right to her home.
"I looked at Officer Fritz and we just looked at each other and we were going in," Bangham said.
"She kept calling out, ‘He's got a gun,’ and she's in the bathroom with him and the gun and she put herself in great danger," Fritz said.
Schadler’s courage in a time of crisis impressed the Farmington Town Council, which honored her at Tuesday night’s meeting as a “hometown heroine.”
The Farmington police officers were also recognized with a plaque and proclamation.
Outside the town hall, the officers hugged Schadler, with whom their lives are forever linked by McGarrett’s desperate actions and their brave response.
"She did everything by the book," Fritz said, commending Schadler’s calmness and bravery.
"I am very, very thankful that it came out that way," Schadler said.