A mother of two has been hailed a hero by her husband after she shot an intruder in their Loganville, Ga., home last Friday afternoon.
“She protected the kids. She did what she was supposed to do as a responsible, prepared gun owner,” said her husband, Donnie Herman, in an interview with ABC’s Atlanta affiliate WSB-TV.
According to Herman and the Walton County Sheriff’s Office incident report, Melinda Herman was working at home when a man began to ring the doorbell. She called her husband at work, who told her to gather their 9-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, and go hide. All three of them went to an upstairs crawl space, and Melinda brought along a .38 caliber handgun to the hiding place.
Her husband, meanwhile, called the police. In the 911 recording, Herman can be heard saying, “She shot him. She’s shooting him, she’s shooting him. Shoot him again.”
“I heard him pleading,” her husband said to the 911 operator. “He was screaming.”
The man allegedly broke into the house and rummaged around before making his way to the crawl space, where he found the mother and children hiding.
“The perpetrator opens that door, and of course at that time he’s staring at her, her two children and a .38 revolver,” said Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman to WSB-TV.
Melinda Herman shot the intruder five times, hitting him in the face and neck. Chapman said she told the man if he moved she would shoot him again, although she had run out of bullets.
“The guy is [heard] telling her to quit shooting,” said Chapman.
The intruder, who police identified as 32-year-old Paul Slater, managed to get to his car and as he tried to flee, crashed into a tree. Deputies later found him in a neighbor’s yard.
Melinda Herman and her children, in the meantime, had sought refuge in a neighbor’s home.
“Her life is saved and our kids lives are saved. And that’s all I can say,” said Donnie Herman.
Slater is currently in the Gwinnett Medical Center, receiving treatment for his injuries, which deputies described as serious. A family member told WSB-TV that Slater was on a ventilator and had endured puncture wounds to his lungs, liver and stomach.