A Loganville mother who works at home thought the stranger she spotted getting out of a car in front of her home Friday afternoon was a salesman and sighed.
She had no interest in talking to him. But to make sure she called her husband at his office to find out if he was expecting anyone. He wasn’t.
But the man at the door kept ringing the bell, triggering an alarm in the couple.
“Don’t answer,” she yelled to her 9-year-old twins playing downstairs.
The stranger kept ringing the bell.
“Get the kids and go upstairs,” her husband said. “I’ll call 911.”
The 37-year-old woman grabbed her son and daughter and hid in a crawlspace adjoining her office, holding a .38 revolver in one hand and the phone in the other, Walton County Sheriff Mr. Joe Chapman said as he recounted what happened that day. He declined to release the woman's name.
Her husband had remained on the line after calling 911 on another phone.
Meanwhile, the stranger had gone back to his car to retrieve a crow bar and forced open the front door to the three-story home in Henderson Ridge Subdvision off Sharon Church Road, Sheriff Chapman said.
He allegedly rummaged through the home as he worked his way up to the attic office.
“We assume he hears her talking on the phone,” Sheriff Chapman said. “He opens the crawlspace door to a .38 revolver and she unloads on him.”
The woman fired six bullets, five of which hit Mr. Paul Ali Slater in the face - shattering his teeth- and in the chest, Sheriff Chapman said.
One of the round remained in his body. But Mr. Slater was still conscious and tearfully begged the woman to stop shooting as he attempted to stand.
“Stay down or I’ll shoot again,’” the woman said, bluffing. She had emptied her chamber, but Mr. Slater didn’t know that, Sheriff Chapman said.
The mother and her children ran to a neighbor’s house while the wounded burglar made it out of the home and into his car, driving away before deputies arrived on the scene. Still, he didn’t get far.
The disoriented suspect missed the exit and ended up on the other side of the subdivision where he crashed into a tree, the sheriff said.
“He got out of the car and walked about 40 yards before he collapsed in a driveway,” Sheriff Chapman said.
Deputies found Mr. Slater bleeding profusely in a neighbor’s driveway. And the burglary suspect looked gratefully at the armed officers who were trying to find out if he had an accomplice.
‘I don’t have anyone else with me. I’m by myself,’” he said. “'Help me, help me. I’m dying.'”
Mr. Slater was transported by ambulance to Gwinnett Medical Center, Sheriff Chapman said.
The Long Island native, who now lives in Gwinnett County, was released from the county jail in late August after serving six months for simple battery and three counts of probation violation, officials said.
Mr. Slater has six other arrests in Gwinnett dating back to 2008, according to media reports.
Mr. Slater remained unresponsive and on a ventilator late Sunday. Doctors are trying to get him stabilize so they can operate and repair the damage, Sheriff Chapman said.
“My wife’s a hero,” the woman’s husband, Mr. Donnie Herman, told Channel 2 Action News. “She protected her kids. She did what she was supposed to do.”
Sheriff Chapman said the man confessed in the ambulance that he was there to steal.
“He just happened to pick the wrong house to steal from that day.”
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