Just after 5 a.m. Wednesday, a 61-year-old woman in South Seattle woke to find a man standing outside her bedroom door holding a silver handgun.
The armed man had broken into the house on South Holden Street. Once inside, he pointed the gun at the victim, demanded several items from the house and then left.
Maabt Weldu moved to Seattle from East Africa eleven years ago. She speaks very little English, and says that only made the robbery even more frightening.
Weldu spoke to KING 5 with the help of her niece, who translated.
"She was sleeping, but the light came on," her niece explained. "And then she said why is the light on? And then he was standing over her, and he said wake up. Then he said, what do you have, give it to me, what do you have?"
Even with the language barrier, Weldu knew the masked man was deadly serious.
He motioned for her to give him the necklace hanging from her neck and the rings on her fingers. She did so without protesting, but he wanted more.
"He said give me the money, give me the money, it's not enough for me. Then she said, I don't have any money, and then she opened the drawer, her drawer, and there was my country money inside, about one thousand," said Weldu's niece.
The bills found in that drawer were not American dollars. They were from East Africa, but the robber took them anyway.
Weldu called 911 when the man left.
Responding police officers searched for the suspect but were not able to locate him.
The victim was not injured in the incident, and for that she is grateful.
"I'm lucky, because first of all, he didn't kill me," she said.
Police say the suspect is described as white, possibly a Hispanic male. He is 5 feet, 7 inches and has a medium build. During the incident, the suspect wore a mask covering the bottom of his face and dark clothing.