A former CNN anchor was caught in the middle of a motel room shootout when her husband emerged from the bathroom to find a man holding her at gunpoint Tuesday.
According to the New York Post, Lynne Russell and her husband, former CNN reporter and ex-special forces member Chuck de Caro, stopped for the night at a Motel 6 while passing through Albuquerque on a road trip. According to the couple, Russell left the room to get something from their car while de Caro showered. Russell says that when she returned to the room, a man standing outside pushed her inside at gunpoint.
De Caro, who was in the shower, emerged completely naked and tried talking to the gunman, who was demanding the couple fork over their money and valuables.
“We tried to calm the man, ask him not to point the gun because we really couldn’t think what we could give him,” Russell said. “It felt to me he was used to doing this, that whatever happened wouldn’t bother him.”
De Caro stood in front of a nightstand, where they had placed their legal, .35-caliber handguns. When the thug grabbed a briefcase and began firing at him, De Caro shot back as Russell ducked behind a piece of furniture.
(CNN has a slightly different take; according to the network, Russell managed to slip the gun into a handbag that she handed to her husband under the guise of looking for valuables to give the intruder.)
De Caro, who was hospitalized with multiple gunshot wounds but is expected to survive, ultimately killed the would-be robber, who died in the parking lot outside. Uninjured, apparently, was de Caro’s romantic side: “I was determined to save my dream girl’s life — even if it cost my own,” he tells the Post.
Police say they do not expect to file any charges against de Caro.