As details emerge on Friday’s shooting of a burglar by a Loganville mother, the incident has caught the attention of the national media. The mother, who has stayed out of the limelight, is being hailed as a hero for successfully defending her family. At last report, the alleged burglar, Paul Slater, 32, remained in a Gwinnett County hospital and his condition was given as “serious.” Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman told WSBTV Friday that Slater was expected to survive his injuries.
WCSO Chief Deputy Keith Brooks said he doesn’t foresee any charges for the 37-year-old mother who shot Slater. Charges, however, would be filed against Slater, who already has a rap sheet. According to Gwinnett County records, Slater had several charges dating back to 2008. At that time his address was given as Brushy Fork Road, Loganville.
According to WCSO and reported by several media outlets, including MyFoxAtlanta, the woman was at home with her 9-year-old twins when the suspect knocked on the door and then rang the doorbell. She reportedly contacted her husband, who told her not to answer the door as he wasn’t expecting anyone. When she saw Slater retrieve a crowbar from the car, she grabbed her children, her .38 revolver, and hid in an attic closet. Slater broke into the house and subsequently located her in the closet. At that time she opened fire on him, hitting him with five of the six rounds in the gun. Her husband had already called 911 and by the time police arrived, the mother had retreated to a neighbor with the children, Slater had tried to escape in his car, but had subsequently crashed in a wooded area in the neighborhood.
“My wife’s a hero,” the woman’s husband, Donnie Herman, told Channel 2 Action News according to the AJC report. “She protected her kids. She did what a responsible gun owner was supposed to do.”
The overwhelming response from the public has been much the same. This comes on the heels of a national debate on gun control that is heating up in the wake of the Sandy Hook School shootings. Second Amendment advocates are pointing to the Loganville case and a similar one in Oklahoma that took place on New Year’s Eve. In that case, The Huffington Post reports that the 18-year-old mother asked permission from the 911 operator to fire on two perpetrators who were breaking into her mobile home. She had her 3-month-old baby on her lap at the time. Her husband reportedly died of complications from lung cancer on Christmas Day.
"I've got two guns in my hand. Is it OK to shoot him if he comes in this door?" the young mother reportedly asked the dispatcher.
"Well, you have to do whatever you can do to protect yourself," the dispatcher is reported to be heard telling the mother on the 911 tape. "I can't tell you that you can do that, but you have to do what you have to do to protect your baby."
The perpetrator did not survive his injuries, but in that case the mother too has not been charged. The partner in crime, however, has been charged with murder resulting from the death. The Huffington Post reports that the Oklahoma intruder died with a knife in his hand.
In contrast, another similar case that happened in Fairburn, Ga. at about midnight last Friday, had a different outcome. In that case, WSBVT reports that the woman did not answer her door to two men ringing her doorbell, instead retiring to bed. She later realized that the men were in her home, and attempted to hide from them. They tracked her down, however, and shot her several times. Although she is expected to survive her injuries, the perpetrators in that case are on the loose and have not been charged.