Former CNN anchor Lynne Russell is opening up about how she stopped an armed robber who shot her husband inside their motel room.
She and her husband, former CNN reporter Chuck de Caro, were staying at a Motel 6 in Albuquerque, New Mexico last June when the suspect, 27-year-old Tomorio Walton, followed her into their room.
“I opened the door and he came around the corner so quickly and I saw this big shiny gun and he shoved me so hard into the room,” she told IE. “I was airborne.”
He demanded valuables from the couple, but they had two handguns with them inside the room. Russell is a marksman and a former's sheriff's deputy, while her husband is a Special Forces veteran.
De Caro recalled: “Lynne very bravely putters around the room, gets the weapons, slides them into her purse, turns them over to me and says, 'maybe there's something in here he would like.'”
Russell added: “When he went down to pick up my laptop bag and I knew he would be off balance, I started to draw."
Surveillance video shows the suspect staggering from the room and falling, fatally wounded. Inside the room, de Caro had also been shot multiple times.
“I knew there were just minutes, maybe,” he said. “I could hear my own blood splattering on the floor.”
In a frantic 911 call, Russell can be heard pleading for help.
She told the dispatcher: “My husband has been shot by somebody! He's been shot bad in the abdomen!”
The desk clerk also called 911 and said: “There's somebody bleeding in the parking lot. There's two people shot.”
Incredibly, even during the emergency, the desk clerk continued serving customers. He even tried to put the 911 operator on hold while he checked in a new customer, saying: “I have a guest right this second at the hotel.”
The dispatcher told the clerk: “I understand, but I need you to help first because I kind of want nobody else to get shot.”
Ten months after the shooting, de Caro is still not fully recovered and needs a walking stick to get around. Russell says they are both traumatized by the experience.
“Life is never the same again. It just isn't. You don't sleep. It's hard,” she said.
Lynn Russell and her husband are suing the motel claiming there was a lack of security. Motel 6 has denied any wrongdoing.