10:48 AM EST, January 9, 2013
A husband screamed out a desperate plea to his terrified wife. She had just shot a home invader.
The husband screamed, "She shot him. She's shooting him."
Now, the family has been catapulted into the raging debate over gun ownership.
The husband said on Good Morning America, "She did what she was supposed to do as a responsible, prepared gun owner."
The drama happened at their beautiful house outside Atlanta.
Melinda Herman was home with her nine-year-old twins when she heard the intruder breaking in.
She called her husband, Donnie, at work to tell him of her desperate situation.
Donnie said, "Is he in the house, Melinda? Are you sure? Melinda, if he opens that door, you shoot, you shoot him, you understand?"
While the husband was still on the phone with his wife, he picked up a second phone and called 911 for help.
911 Operator: "Sir, we're dispatching the police right now."
Donnie: "Ok. Melinda, I’m on the phone with 911."
The wife and kids hid in the attic as the intruder came closer.
Donnie: "All right, stay in the attic, all right? He's in the bedroom? Shh, shh, relax. Just remember everything that I showed you, everything that I taught you, all right?"
The intruder found the family. That's when the wife took aim and emptied her .38-caliber revolver.
Donnie told the 911 operator, "She's shooting him, she's shooting him."
Cops said, Paul Slater, was shot five times in the head and chest. He is critically injured in a hospital.
Good Morning America aired an interview with the husband at the center of the drama.
Donnie said, "My wife is a hero. She protected her kids."
The shooting comes in the midst of a fiery national debate over gun control.
Radio show host Alex Jones went ballistic with CNN's Piers Morgan for suggesting tighter firearms controls, and Jon Stewart devoted most of his show Tuesday night to gun control.
Donnie Herman’s wife used a handgun, not the controversial Bushmaster assault rifle used in the Newtown Elementary School massacre. However, the drama at their Georgia home is likely to add a whole new element to the national debate.
A neighbor told INSIDE EDITION, "As a mother, you are going to do whatever you need to do to protect your family. I think she did great."