Over 50, female and a hero: Arizona's brave citizen defender and others

Patricia Maisch talks to press about her actions outside the Tuscon, AZ Safeway that may have saved lives. (AP/Via Daily Mail)Patricia Maisch talks to press about her actions outside the Tuscon, AZ Safeway that may …Don't underestimate the power of women, especially those over 50, who've proven to be fearless heros in the face of danger over the past few months. Most recently, 61-year-old Patricia Maisch risked her life to protect fellow bystanders at Saturday's tragic shooting in Arizona.

Maisch attended the "Congress on your Corner" event outside the Safeway in Tuscon to support congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who fell victim, along with 19 others, to deranged gunman Jared Laughner. But Maisch's bravery and quick-thinking may have thwarted ever more casualties.

"He shot the woman that was next to me, and I was just waiting for the next bullet," Maisch said on this morning's CBS Early Show. "Two gentlemen had knocked him to the ground, and somebody yelled 'Get the gun,'" Maisch said. "So I knelt up - he was on his right side - I knelt up and reached over him. I couldn't reach the gun, but as he was doing that he also pulled another magazine out of his left pocket, which he dropped on the pavement, and I was able to get it before he did."

After she grabbed the magazine to prevent more bloodshed, she helped hold the assailant down by kneeling on his legs. When he was secured she began to treat the wounds of nearby victims. Maisch has credited her actions to "pure adrenaline". But others are hailing her one of the heros of the tragic day. Maisch's selfless risk in the face of danger mirrors other recent acts of bravery by women.


Ginger Littleton holds up the brown bag she used as a weapon to attack the gunman who'd taken a school board hostage. (CNN via Daily Mail)Ginger Littleton holds up the brown bag she used as a weapon to attack the gunman who'd …
















Ginger Littleton, 56: In November, Littleton used her purse to whack a gunman holding a Florida Panhandle school board hostage. "I had a choice....I could either walk away thinking something bad was going to happen and try to live with myself or I could try to do something to divert and delay. My bag was what I had," Littleton told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos.

Gert Boyle outsmarted the home invader holding her at gunpoint. (AP via inc.com)Gert Boyle outsmarted the home invader holding her at gunpoint. (AP via inc.com)















Gert Boyle, 86: Boyle, the head of Columbia Sportswear, who was bound and held at gunpoint by a home invader in November. She tricked the robber into activating her alarm system by telling him he was disabling it. Police arrived to arrest the robber and free the tied-up grandmother. With her attacker locked up, Boyle was back at work days later.

A 75 year old woman uses a price-checker to fend off a robber at a local store (via CBS.com)A 75 year old woman uses a price-checker to fend off a robber at a local store (via CBS.com)
















More local heros over 50: Other female senior citizens are fighting the "weak and vulnerable" stereotype as well, by fending off their assailants tooth and nail. In February, surveillance cameras caught a 75-year-old woman used a price checker to attack a convenience store robber, later chasing him out the door. In December, a 71-year-old woman fought off a home invader by knocking him out with a frying pan. And in July, when a 73 year-old grandmother had her purse snatched at a gas station, she bit her robbers and held on tight to her property even as they dragged her along side their truck. Their escape was thwarted and she got her purse back, thank you very much. She also helped put the criminals behind bars. Heroism, bravery or adrenaline as Maisch humbly calls it, the message is clear: don't mess with a woman over 50. You'll lose.

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