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911 tape: 'Shoot 'em again!' husband tells wife hiding from home intruder

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By Jeff Black, Staff Writer, NBC News

LOGANVILLE, GA (NBC) -- The recording of a 911 call made during a home invasion in Georgia reveals a chilling scene in which a husband coaches his wife -- home alone with her twin 9-year-old children -- to shoot a determined intruder.

The intruder used a crowbar to bust into the house last Friday and at first intended to rob the suburban Atlanta home in Loganville but shifted his focus to hunting down Melinda Herman and her son and daughter, Walton County investigators told NBC station WXIA in Atlanta.

The family had fled through three locked doors, into a bathroom and then to an upstairs crawl space, but the intruder busted the doors open to stalk the family, police said.

As the incident transpired, husband Donnie Herman was in Atlanta and had his wife on one phone line and the 911 operator on the other, according to the recording, obtained by WXIA and the Atlanta Journal- Constitution.

"Do you hear him? Is he in the house? He's in the house," Donnie Herman says.

"Melinda, if he opens that door, you shoot him, you understand."

"She has a weapon?" asks the dispatcher. "What type of weapon?"

"She has a .38," Donnie Herman said.

The 911 operator tells him that officers were on the way.

"She shot him. She's shooting him, she's shooting him."

"OK," the dispatcher responds.

"Shoot 'em again! Shoot 'em!" Donnie Herman yells, later telling the dispatcher "She shot him, a lot."

Herman tells the dispatcher he heard a lot of screaming. But it was seven agonizing minutes before he found out that his family was OK, WXIA reported.

Melinda Herman told police that she started shooting when the man opened the door to the crawl space. He pleaded with her to stop, but she kept firing until she was out of bullets, she told police. She then fled to a neighbor's house with her children.

The family is still shaken by what happened.

"Just like I told her that night," Walton County Sheriff's Capt. Greg Hall told WXIA. "Ya know, there's right and there's wrong and then there's not natural, and it's not natural for people to have to shoot people, so it is going to bother you ..."

The National Rifle Association tweeted a link about the shooting, apparently using it as an example of responsible gun ownership.

And Sheriff Joe Chapman  told The Associated Press that he was proud of the way she handled the incident.

"This lady decided that she wasn't going to be a victim, and I think everyone else looks at this and hopes they have the courage to do what she done," Chapman said Wednesday.

The alleged intruder, identified as Paul Slater, 32, of Atlanta,  was shot five times. He remained at a hospital.

Spokesmen for the Sheriff's Office and the Walton County prosecutors were not immediately available to NBC News.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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