ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The man fatally shot by a former CNN reporter at an Albuquerque motel had fled parole in Tennessee, police said.
Tomorio Walton had absconded from parole out of Memphis, and it wasn’t clear how long he had been in New Mexico, Albuquerque Police Department spokesman Tanner Tixier (tih-SHAY) said late Thursday.
Chuck de Caro and his wife, Lynne Russell, were in their room when Walton, 27, allegedly tried to rob them, authorities said.
In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Russell said her husband was shot three times and was recovering at a hospital.
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“He’s in a lot of pain,” she said. “He took three shots, including a couple to the abdomen. But magically, his organs were not affected.”
“He’s my hero. He saved my life,” Russell added.
Russell, a former CNN anchor, said the couple was four days into a trip when they stopped at an Albuquerque Motel 6 on Tuesday night. They also had their dog. She said an armed man was at their door when she returned from getting something from their car.
“He pushed me into the room, and that’s when my husband came out of the shower and saw what was happening,” Russell told KOB-TV. “We tried to calm him, confuse him and do everything we could do to just come out of it in one piece.”
Walton allegedly took de Caro’s briefcase before shooting at him. Both Russell and de Caro have concealed-carry weapons permits, and de Caro “fired back and it was a shootout,” Russell said.
De Caro killed Walton when he returned fire, police said. Russell was not injured.
It was unlikely de Caro would face any charges in what appeared to be a case of self-defense, police spokesman Simon Drobik said Friday.
De Caro was an investigative reporter for CNN and is a consultant for the Pentagon. Russell retired from CNN in 2005.