Former CNN reporter Chuck de Caro shot and killed a man attempting to rob him and his wife, former CNN News anchor Lynne Russell, at gunpoint Tuesday night.
Russell and de Caro were staying at a Motel 6 in Albuquerque, New Mexico Tuesday night when a man attempted to rob her, Albuquerque Police told BuzzFeed News.
After a brief altercation with the armed robber, Russell said she handed her husband one of their licensed concealed hand guns. De Caro and the alleged assailant engaged in a shootout.
De Caro was wounded and the gunman was killed, Albuquerque police confirmed.
The killing appears to have been in self-defense, Albuquerque Police PubIic Information Officer Tanner Tixier told BuzzFeed News, but it is being investigated as a homicide.
De Caro was wounded but is expected to recover, authorities confirmed Thursday.
Russell described what occurred in the hotel room to multiple news outlets.
"I opened the door and he materialized out of nowhere," Russell told the New York Post. "He pushed me into the room and onto the bed and closed the door."
He demanded money and valuables while pointing a "40-caliber, big, shiny silver handgun" at them, Russell told NBC News. De Caro, 65, emerged from the shower naked and tried to talk him down.
Russell, who was a sheriff's deputy in Fulton County, Georgia before becoming a licensed private investigator, said, "I suddenly realized that it wouldn't bother him at all to pull the trigger."
Russell said that as she went to search her purse for valuables to hand over, she covertly slipped a gun in her purse and handed it to her husband, who is a member of the a National Guard division that works as an Army Special Forces unit.
The gunman then reportedly grabbed a suitcase and began shooting at de Caro, who began shooting back. Russell said she dove behind a piece of furniture for protection.
De Caro was reportedly hit three times in the abdomen and leg. He and the gunman fired multiple rounds, police said, until the gunman fled the hotel room and collapsed in the motel parking lot, where police said they found him.
The gunman was taken to a nearby hospital by the police, Tixier said, where he later died.
De Caro was found "bleeding profusely," Russell said, in the hotel room and was also transported to the hospital where he currently remains under treatment. None of his vital organs were reportedly hit, and he is expected to make a full recovery, authorities said.
"I am very, very proud of my husband. He is my hero," Russell told NBC. "He saved my life."
Lynne Russell was the Headline News anchor at CNN for 18 years. Before that she was an investigative and military reporter beginning in 1980. Her LinkedIn says she was the first woman to "solo anchor" a daily primetime network newscast.
Chuck de Caro was the special assignments correspondent at CNN for five years. He was a researcher and national military strategist for the Department of Defense for many years.
The two were married in Italy and 2014, and had been traveling around the world ever since. They had reportedly stopped in Albuquerque for the night to have dinner with a friend when the incident occurred.
Ema O'Connor is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
Contact Ema O'Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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