Lynne Russell (CNN Headline News 1983-2001) survives gunfight with robber

Lynne Russell from 2007. CREDIT: File photo

Lynne Russell from 2007. CREDIT: File photo

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Former CNN Headline News anchor Lynne Russell and her husband, former CNN correspondent Chuck De Caro faced off against a robber at an Albuquerque, N.M. motel. De Caro shot and killed the thief.

Russell, in a text, told me De Caro himself was shot three times by the robber, twice in the abdomen, but is expected to survive. Russell was not hurt.

The incident happened at a Motel 6 late  Tuesday night. According to KOAT:

Russell said they were exhausted Tuesday night and decided to go to a motel to rest. She went out to the car to get something when a man with a gun grabbed her and dragged her back into the motel room.

Her husband grabbed his gun and the two exchanged gunfire. Russell said the suspect fired first. The suspect was shot and killed. Russell said her husband was hit three times, but is expected to survive.

The couple had stopped in Albuquerque during a cross-country trip, according to a friend Pat Clawson to KOB-TV. “Chuck and Lynne left the Washington, D.C. area several days ago to drive up to California on a working vacation. They stopped in Albuquerque for the night,” Clawson said.

She texted me back Wednesday night: “I think everything will be alright… eventually. Chuck is my hero. He saved my life, he protected me.”

Russell worked at CNN Headline News (now HLN) as an anchor from 1983 to 2001 in Atlanta.  She moved to Toronto in 2005 and is now a talent coach, according to her Linkedin page.

The 68 year old was one of the most colorful anchors CNN has ever employed. She’s been black belt, a bodyguard, a private investigator, a volunteer with the sheriff’s department and a no-words-barred novelist.

De Caro, 65, is equally fascinating, a strategist and futurist who runs a company that sells software that is defined as “the hostile use of global television and global media to shape another society’s will by changing its view of reality.”  He was one of CNN’s most aggressive foreign correspondents as well as a former aviator and Green Beret.

I wrote a “whatever happened to” piece on Russell in 2008:

Tuesday, February 12, 2008, 03:53 PMCNN‘s Lynne Russell was a ubiquitous presence on CNN Headline News for 18 years from its launch until 2001.She moved to Toronto three years ago and sells homes. (She briefly worked for the CBC, a Canadian news network.) She’s always been a woman of diverse interests: she’s a licensed detective with two black belts and makes hand-sewn lampshades.I interviewed her recently. Here are excerpts:Q: And now you’re a realtor. How’s that treating you?Russell: I really love it. Over the years I’ve bought and sold houses and I have managed some of them as rental properties. It’s funny, because I grew up in the army and we never, ever owned a house.

Q: Do you get clients who will scratch their heads and say, “Wait a minute, I know you from somewhere”?

Russell: It does happen. What are you going to do?

Q: You also have two blackbelts. What are they in?

Russell: It’s a martial art called Choi Kwang Do. It’s kind of Korean street fighting. It moves a lot like Tai Chi.

Q: If you had to throw down with Wolf Blitzer, you could take him, right?

Russell: I don’t know. He’s little, but the whole part of martial arts is that you don’t have to be big. There are a lot of big stupid people out there. Wolf is a friend. I don’t think I’d ever have to do that.

Here’s her final newscast in 2001:

 


View Comments 3