This is big and dramatic and 100% true.
When I was little we lived in the little tiny rental house next door to a massive three story house. It was my mom, my sister (7), my brother (1) and me (8 years). Anyway, one morning mom came in to wake us up, but told us that we wouldn't be going to school. We were going to have an "indoor, at home, fun day!" She moved the television into our bedroom, which was connected to my brothers bedroom via the bathroom, and told us we were going to stay in just those three rooms all day. No school, no chores, just hanging out and having fun. I noticed, when she was telling us all of this, that there was a police officer in the living room. She said he just needed a place to sit, and some privacy, so we were going to leave him alone.
Needless to say, this was very odd, and I was not fooled. Something was up. When I tried to ask questions, though, I got "The Look", which my mother is exceptionally good at, so I stopped asking.
When we said we were hungry, mom stuck her head out of our room and said something to the officer, who brought us ice cream and girl scout cookies out of the kitchen. Now this was a breakfast a kid could get excited about! But it was really out of character for mom to allow something like this, and it was all really strange.
Finally, details started to emerge. Our neighbor had gotten up on top of his three-story house and started shooting at everything that moved. Since there was a clear line of sight from his roof into our living room, mom's bedroom, and the kitchen, we were being kept out of there, and the officer was stationed in there because, well, line of sight works both ways. Somehow my mom managed to convey some of this info in such a way that we didn't panic. She is awesome like that.
Around lunch time, the officers decided that it was too dangerous to make a move against our neighbor while we were in the house. They parked an unmarked car at the corner, which was just across an empty lot from our house. They took us into the bathroom, and handed my baby brother out the window to a SWAT guy in a bullet proof vest. Then my sister and I went out the window, then my mom. The SWAT guy told us to duck close to the ground, follow him, and not look back, no matter what we might hear. My mom came last (a photo taken as we ran to the car made the paper...my mother did not duck. In fact she appears to be running on her toes. She said she figured that if she was the easiest target, her kids would be more likely to make it to the car safely...like I said, she is awesome, and really brave).
We made it to the car safe and sound, the car drove off and took us to the police department, and when we were safely inside the PD, sitting on comfy chairs, my mother (previously the very image of calm) started shaking and sobbing. We thought this was all very strange, and wandered off to watch television with a very nice social worker.
They used large amounts of tear gas to get him out of the house. No one was killed, or even injured. Evidently he was not a very good shot. I know he spent a good long time in prison. We were contacted while I was in Basic Training, and informed that he was being released. By then we were living in another state, so it didn't much seem to matter. While I have very vivid memories of the whole thing, I don't remember ever being frightend. I figure that is because my mom was so calm that we never thought there was a reason to worry. By the time she seemed scared, we were with the police, so we didn't see any reason to be scared.
My mom will always be my "parenting guide". She has told me, many times, that a parent can make a traumatic crisis seem like nothing at all, simply by how the kids see them react. They can also make a minor incident terribly traumatic, again, simply by the way they react. I also discovered that, in combat, a leader can have the same effect on their troops. She is my hero, for so many reasons!
Edited for small grammatical errors, because I hate those!