Transcript for Learning to Heal After Violent Home Invasion
talics Test Text1 plain she was at risk. He opens the door, trying to alert Meredith as he goes. What was the first thing you remember? Hearing yelling and commotion, ruckus. And you knew something was wrong? Absolutely. The one with the gun strolled over to me and came behind me and put the gun to my head and said "We're the money now?" I just remember them saying repeatedly "Where's the drugs? Where's the money? Where's the drugs? Where's the money?" As she tells the E.R. Doc, what happens next would change their lives forever. And I pushed the gun away and grabbed the girl and pushed it away and he yelled at me "Are you stupid?" He pushed me down on the bed and he pulled my pants down right here and he -- It's all right. He started punching me and screaming. And -- When he had the gun to my head before his face was right here and I could smell his breath very strongly. It smelled like burned plastic and very cheap alcohol. I just heard "No, no, no." And I knew that it was bad if she was telling him, you know, no. And he was groping you at that point. He had pulled my pants down and he -- I'm sorry. It's just -- You don't need to go into it. An unforgivable sexual assault. And for James in the other room still unaware of what's happening, it's too much to bear. Instinctively he reacts, yelling at the top of his lungs. I had to do something. And I thought "If I make enough commotion it's going to make him nervous, it's going to get his attention, it might get the neighbors to call for help." At that point you were making so much noise that he eventually stopped. So in your mind James stopped you from being rained? He did because he was making such a problem so he's just -- grabbed the back of my shirt and pulled me off the bed, put the gun back on me, said "Get your purse." Finally back in the same room they each saw their chance of survival as Meredith fumbles with her purse. And then he told me dump it out. So I dwumped it and when I dumped it my phone fell face down on the couch and I remember thinking "There's my phone. It's right there." And in that moment James comes face to face with a life or death decision. And he looked over and the gun instead of being pointed at me it sort of drifted off a little bit and I thought to myself if I don't take in this chance I might not get another one. So I reached up and I put the meat here of my hand in between the hammer and the gun. You have a large scar here from where the hammer went going back and forth. Oh, my gosh. I couldn't wrest it free but I knew that I had control of it. And that was the opportunity that she needed to call. That was the absolute hardest part was that when I dialed 911 they were just beating him so absolutely mercilessly and brutally and one kept yelling "Shoot him, shoot him, shoot him." Please help me and my fiance. He held us at gunpoint. I need an ambulance right now. This guy jumped in, the back of my head, the front of my head. Did you get knocked out? Yeah, when I it this floor I think I lost consciousness. You're an American hero. All I could think of was that I didn't want them to do anything to hurt her. We're going to take care of you now. In the end, the attackers fled but not before breaking James's nose, both cheekbones and the bones around his eye sockets. Rushed to the E.R., James and Meredith are separated for treatment. The girlfriend may have been sexually assaulted while he was passed out. Which is horrible. And that won't be communicated to him, at least certainly right now. They went through quite an ordeal. Hopefully we'll get them together so she doesn't keep freaking out. Two people could have been killed today. It was a close call. He was so brave. Honey, you were there for me. What did you think I was going to do? That was a little more than a year ago. Today the couple have moved back home to young town, Ohio. For the first time since they moved away they ventured with us back to show thus apartment and all they say was wrong with it. So tell me, what are you thinking? I'm thinking, look, there's the camera that did absolutely nothing and here are the lights that did nothing. They say their building, Lenox on the park, was supposed to have surveillance equipment. But when it counted most those cameras were not functioning. We reached out to the manager but not go comment. And your view of surveillance cameras in general has changed. Definitely. What did you think before? What do you think now? I think they should be everywhere. As they walked us through that trauma, the memories of what happened here became too much to handle. I don't need to see this again. They really need to catch these guys. They really do. Because they're going to do it over and over and over again. Right. More than a year later, police found no suspects but just a few days after we called the Essex county prosecutor, Meredith got a call asking them to come look at a lineup of possible suspects. The news is good. There is DNA and a suspect in custody. If they're in custody and they have a DNA match at least that one is off the street. They say they're on the road to recovery but admit that their experience has drastically changed them and their views on gun control. I didn't want a gun. I specifically did not want one. I guess I got the realization that, you know, the police really can't protect you. You're on your own. So you're now proud gun owners? Absolutely. Where do you keep? In the bedroom. We just keep thinking about that scenario if it ever happened again, you know, she would have it right there by the bed. But the gun makes you feel safer? 100%. And for all the life lesson this is trauma has brought, Meredith says there's one that sticks out the most. You know what's amazing, Meredith, is we all like to think when we're in that position that we would risk our lives to save our loved ones but James actually did it. I think about that everyday. I just felt like I did what I had to do. Like anyone in my position would have done the same thing. Protecting your woman, I respect that. Save your dog, save your girl. She's the world. You think you love them so much and, okay, this is it, this is the best feeling you can have and you realize, no, I can't actually love someone even more than -- I can even love someone more than that. For night line, I'm juju Chang in east Orange, New York. Tune into "New York med" right here on ABC.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.