Police have released the audio of a 911 call made during a home invasion in Georgia in which Donnie Herman, husband of Melinda Herman, coaches his wife, urging her to shoot the intruder.
The woman was alone at home with her 9-year-old twins when Paul Ali Slater broke into the house with a crowbar.
Digital Journal reported that the Georgia mother shot the intruder five times in the face and neck at her home in Henderson Ridge Lane in Loganville last Friday, after he cornered her and the children in the attic crawlspace. According to Digital Journal, the intruder broke into the house after the woman refused to answer the door when he knocked and rang the doorbell. Instead of calling the police, she called her husband, Donnie Herman, who was at work. Mr. Herman immediately dialed 911, while his wife hid with her 9-year-old twins in the attic.
Digital Journal reported that when Slater opened the closet in which Melinda and her children were hiding, she fired six bullets at him. Five hit him in the face and neck.
According to The Blaze, police have now released audio from the 911 call made during the home invasion in which Melinda's husband, urged his wife to shoot the intruder.
The audio recording was obtained by WXIA/11alive.com and The Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC). According to AJC, the recording reveals the details of the incident, including 911 calls by anxious neighbors.
The audio records Mr. Herman telling his wife: “Just remember everything that I showed you, everything that I taught you, alright? If he opens that door, you shoot him, you understand?”
According to the Daily Mail, though parts of the husband's conversation with his wife were inaudible on recording, he can be heard relaying information from his wife to the 911 operator.
A few minutes into the audio record, gunshots are heard. Donnie can also be heard telling the operator excitedly: "She's shooting him! She's shooting him!" Then he screamed down the phone at his wife: "Shoot him again! Shoot him!"
NBC News provides a partial transcript (listen to the audio above);
“Do you hear him? Is he in the house? He’s in the house,” Donnie Herman says.
“Melinda, if he opens that door, you shoot him, you understand.”
“She has a weapon?” asks the dispatcher. “What type of weapon?”
“She has a .38,” Donnie Herman said.
The 911 operator tells him that officers were on the way.
“She shot him. She’s shooting him, she’s shooting him.”
“OK,” the dispatcher responds.
“Shoot him again! Shoot him!” Donnie Herman yells, later telling the dispatcher “She shot him, a lot.”
The audio records the woman shooting the intruder several times. Her husband waits several minutes before he inquires whether his wife and children were O.K. Melinda Herman continued shooting until she was out of bullets, and in spite of the fact that the intruder was down and pleading for his life.
Digital Journal describes the incident:
[Sheriff Joe Chapman] said: "The perpetrator opens that door. Of course, at that time he’s staring at her, her two children and a .38 revolver."...
Slater survived the five shots in the face and neck, Chapman said. After the woman ran out of bullets, she threatened to shoot again. The intruder, unaware that the woman had fired all her six rounds, began pleading for mercy.
Chapman said: "She’s standing over him, and she realizes she’s fired all six rounds. And the guy’s telling her to quit shooting."
The woman told him to stay on the ground or else she'd shoot... She ran to a neighbor’s home with her children. After she had left the house, Slater stumbled out and attempted to escape in his SUV, but because he was severely wounded, and bleeding profusely, he was weak and unable to control the car. He crashed in a wooded area and finally ended up in a nearby driveway where he collapsed...
Chapman said that when they found Ali in a neighborhood driveway, he was crying and saying: "Help me. I'm close to dying."Digital Journal reports that Donnie Herman later said he was proud of his wife. He praised her, saying: "My wife is a hero. She protected her kids. She did what she was supposed to do as responsible, prepared gun owner."
Herman told a reporter: "Her life is saved, and her kids' life is saved, and that's all I'd like to say."
According to The Blaze, Sheriff Joe Chapman, said: “This lady decided that she wasn’t going to be a victim, and I think everyone else looks at this and hopes they have the courage to do what she done."
According to 11alive.com, investigators believe Slater had originally only intended to rob the house, but for some reason he decided to find Melinda and her children.
NBC News: "The family had fled through three locked doors, into a bathroom and then to an upstairs crawl space, but the intruder busted the doors open to stalk the family, police said."
Captain Greg Hall with the Walton County Sheriff's Office, said; "At some point he must have seen one of the kids go upstairs or heard them because he went upstairs, pried open the bedroom door, the bathroom door, back bathroom door and then pulled open the crawl space to get to them."
The Daily Mail, however, gives a conflicting report, saying: "It later emerged that Paul Slater broke into the house- thinking no one was home - with a crowbar and went from room-to-room until he came upon the family in the attic."
11alive.com/WXIA reports the family declined to talk about the incident and the 911 calls.
But Captain Hall said: "Just like I told her that night, there's right and there's wrong and then there's not natural. And it's not natural to have to shoot someone. So it's going to bother you and if it doesn't bother you at some point in your life, there's something wrong."
AJC reports that the incident, which made national headlines, is being cited by gun advocates in defense of their opposition to gun control legislation. NBC reports the National Rifle Association (NRA) tweeted a link about the shooting, using it as an example of "responsible gun ownership."
Digital Journal says Chapman told a reporter late Friday night that Slater has been placed on a ventilator with punctured lungs, a punctured liver and a punctured stomach, with four exit wounds.