EDWARDSVILLE, IL. (KPLR) - She shot the man she said was attacking her sister and opened up to FOX2 about it.
Now, that sister, Donna Carlyle, 47, is hospitalized suffering from heart problems in the wake of the attack.
The Madison County State’s Attorney said the new development could lead to stiffer charges for the alleged attacker, who was also hospitalized Monday, with that gunshot wound.
Debi Keeney, 55, said she took her sister to a hospital about 15 hours after the incident.
“They do believe she had a mild heart attack during the altercation,” Keeney said.
Police said it happened around 3:30 Sunday morning, inside Keeney’s apartment in Highland.
The sisters live next door to each other and were up watching TV together.
Keeney said she stepped outside for a cigarette, a man appeared out of nowhere, and forced his way into her apartment.
Keeney said he threw her across the apartment then started choking her sister, demanding money.
Keeney said she warned him she had a gun, a tiny .22, 5 shot revolver; she shot him when he refused to let her go.
“Then he started coming towards me, then hollered, ‘you shot me!’ Then called me a dirty name and then dropped to his knees and then fell backwards,” Keeney said.
“I know I’m blessed to have her as a sister but last night I think she saved my life and probably her own, too,” Carlyle said, calling her sister ‘her hero’.
Keeney kept a close eye on her sister after the incident. She said it was obvious, something wasn’t right.
“Her heart was fluttering a lot. She couldn’t seem to calm down. She had a lot of pain in her chest, in her neck and shoulder area from where he’d been choking her…I think it was just too much stress; just too much for her to handle,” Keeney said.
Carlyle had a heart condition prior to the attack.
She's undergoing treatment and tests to find the source of her problems. If they're tied to the attack, it could mean the difference between misdemeanor and felony charges for the alleged attacker, when the State’s Attorney considers evidence later this week.
He will also review whether the shooting was justified.
Highland police said it clearly appeared to be an act of self-defense.