Fairburn woman shot when crooks find her hiding in closet - CBS46 News

Fairburn woman shot when crooks find her hiding in closet

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Mark Melvin/CBS Atlanta- Fulton County detectives investigate a shooting during a home invasion late Thursday. Mark Melvin/CBS Atlanta- Fulton County detectives investigate a shooting during a home invasion late Thursday.

A woman is recovering from gunshot wounds after burglars broke into her Fairburn-area home and found her hiding in a closet.

According to the police report, Melissa Burke told police she heard the suspects break into her Estonian Drive home just before midnight Thursday. The thieves first rang the doorbell and when no one answered, police said they went in through the back door. Burke called 911 and hid inside a closet. They found her there and shot her multiple times.

Burke's uncle can't comprehend how and why someone would hurt her.

"She was a sweet, loving, caring person who would do anything for anyone anytime, that's her," Otis Burden said. 

Fulton County marshals held watch outside the home Friday morning. Burke is a longtime employee with them, doing administrative work.

"I don't know what people think these days. I just don't know," Otis Burden said. 

The crime has left the neighborhood rattled.

"It's terrifying. What can I do? I'm checking my windows, checking my doors, speaking to my children and giving them precautions to take," neighbor Natarsha Robinson said.

The suspects fled the home in a Honda, which was spotted and pursued by a nearby officer to the intersection of Highway 92 and Demooney Road, where the suspects bailed out of the car and fled on foot.

"When we located the car, we ran the tag and discovered it was stolen," Parker said.

Police are actively searching for the shooters at this time. An iPad was taken from the home. Detectives believe the motive was robbery.

Burden wants one thing from the people responsible.

"I just want them to turn themselves in," Burden said.

Neighbor Andrea Lovelock told CBS Atlanta News that her home was burglarized just last week.

"I was in Florida, and I got a call from my aunt stating that my alarm was going off," said Lovelock."It was after 1 in the morning, and the police were on the way. When they got there, they found my back door open. They had stolen TVs and video games."

Lovelock wonders what might have happened if she had been home at the time. She said she's glad to hear that her neighbor is expected to survive her gunshot wounds, but she can't help but worry. 

"It's a good community," said Lovelock. "We've had little break-ins. We think it's neighborhood children, but not this. She got shot. So this is a little scary."

Neighbors said there's been a lot of doorbell ringing in the neighborhood recently. They had just chalked it up to kids until now.

"It's not just someone just playing just to be playing. They're looking to see if someone's home so they can come in and take whatever we have," Robinson said. 

Less than 24 hours before, a man who lives in a subdivision about five miles away also was injured during a violent home invasion. He was grazed by a bullet and declined medical treatment. Detectives are looking into whether the cases are related. 

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