My daughter walked right in through the front door and started yelling, 'You need to call the cops!' —Kim Jensen, the girl's mother

SANDY — An 11-year-old Sandy girl got quite a scare Friday afternoon when a man broke into her home while she was alone and threatened her with a gun.

The girl was in her home near 9200 South and 2300 East watching TV.

The girl told police she went to the kitchen to get a snack around 2:45 p.m. She noticed her back door was open, and then she saw a man with a gun.

"She reached for her cellphone, (and) the male suspect knocked her hand away from the phone," said Sandy Police Sgt. John Arnold, "… (He) actually put a gun to her chest and told her not to call, not to pick up the phone."

Arnold said the girl turned and ran out the front door to a neighbor's house. But the next-door neighbors weren't home, so she kept running until she found a familiar face two doors down.

"Their door was unlocked," Kim Jensen, the girl's mother, said. "My daughter walked right in through the front door and started yelling, 'You need to call the cops!'"

The neighbors, startled, jumped into action. "She was so hysterical, and she told my husband, 'I need your help! Somebody put a gun at me!'" neighbor Michelle Benson said. "So he called the cops and was able to calm her down after about five minutes."

By the time officers arrived, the man was gone. But he didn't get away with anything from the home.

"(We're) getting the impression that he wasn't expecting to have anyone in the residence at the time," Arnold said.

The girl was able to provide police with a description of the gunman and the unfamiliar vehicle parked near her home.

The man is described as being about 6 feet tall with a dark complexion. The girl said he had long, dark hair that was braided and went down his left shoulder. The car parked near her home was described as a silver, four-door sedan.

Meanwhile, the officers told the girl running was perhaps the best thing she could have done, and her mom agrees.

"I couldn't believe it. I was so proud of her, just to run," Jensen said.