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The husband of a former CNN anchor shot and killed an armed robber in self-defense inside an Albuquerque, New Mexico motel room Tuesday night, police said.

According to NBC News, Lynne Russell — best known as the anchor of CNN Headline News from 1983 until 2001 — was traveling with her husband Chuck de Caro — himself a former CNN reporter, as well as a Special Forces member and renowned strategist — when she was accosted by a man in a Motel 6 parking lot at around 11:35 p.m. and forced into her room.

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De Caro was just coming out of the shower as the situation unfolded.

Russell, who is also a licensed private investigator and a former Fulton County Sheriff’s deputy, told NBC affiliate KOB she sensed immediately sensed the severity of the situation.

“I recognized what I had seen before — I was a deputy sheriff for many years — that this guy was used to this,” Russell said. “I suddenly realized that it wouldn’t bother him at all to pull the trigger.”

The armed robber began demanding valuables.

Fortunately, both Russell and de Caro are concealed carry permit holders and brought two handguns along for this road trip, both of which were on the nightstand next to the bed. Russell managed to slip one of the guns into her purse as she pretended to search it for valuables. She then gave the purse to de Caro.

As NBC News reports, the suspect — who was armed with a “40-caliber big shiny silver handgun” according to Russell — opened fire.

“Chuck fired back, and it was a shootout,” she said. “He expended the rounds from one small handgun and grabbed for the other even as he had taken fire.”

According to the New York Post, De Caro was shot three times, twice in the abdomen and once in the leg. He is currently being treated at the University of New Mexico Hospital but is expected to recover.

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The suspect managed to flee the motel room, but collapsed in the parking lot. He died after being transported to an area hospital.

“I am very, very proud of my husband. He is my hero,” Russell told KOB. “He saved my life.”

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