Keisha Valentine was shot five times at point-blank range on Sept. 6, 2016.
Valentine is alive because of her guardian angel, her 15-year-old son who took the rest of the bullets for his mother.
And the monster behind this terrifying midnight massacre? On the road, hunting for his next target, live on Facebook.
Keisha Valentine is a hard-working single mom with two jobs and two bright teenage kids: 19-year-old Debonet and 15-year-old Earl III.
The family went through some tough times when Keisha's marriage to Earl Valentine broke up. She left her husband and her home in Richmond, Virginia and moved to Norlina, North Carolina to be closer to her family.
"He would cheat," said Keisha. "I wouldn't say 'dating' -- and I knew about it. He was out having relationships. He was a cheater."
But things are improving.
"I was finally starting to live," said Keisha. "I had a new job, I was working, taking care of those children."
Debonet is away from home for the first time, a college freshman. That leaves Earl III, the young man of the house, alone with his mom.
It's not easy for Earl to watch his older sister and best friend, Debonet, leave home. He even made a special video for the occasion.
"He wouldn't even come to my graduation. That's how sad he was I was leaving," said Debonet.
On the night before her life changes forever, Keisha makes sure her son is home safe and locks up the house before bedtime. Then she sets her own homemade alarm, a board wedged against the doorframe, in case anyone should try to break into the house.
"I set it up so that I would know if anything would've come through and this would fall first, and you would hear that big thud, so I would hear all that should somebody come through this door," Keisha said.
No one ever made an attempt to force the door -- but for the first time, in the small dark hours of the morning, Keisha hears the sound of that board crashing to the floor, loud and clear.
"I was sleeping in my room and I just heard like a 'bang'-type noise, like something crashed over," said Keisha. "I just sat up in bed, like, did I just really hear that? I actually went out of my room, looked, couldn't see anything. It was pitch black."
Keisha Valentine and her son have been ambushed in their home.
"It sounded like the door caved in but I was not quite 100-percent sure. That's when I started my walk up that hallway to see what happened," said Keisha.
She can barely see in the dark. Then the flash of a gunshot.
"The gun went off in my chest like 'boom,'" said Keisha.
Keisha turns and stumbles, scrambling back into her bedroom for shelter as the gunman chases her, still firing.
"I felt weak, my body was getting weaker, so I'm grabbing on to the side of my door and I make it in there, pushed that door behind me, my legs give out, I fell straight dead on the floor. And I said 'I'm going to die on this floor,'" said Keisha.
And that's when the madman turns on Earl. Earl jumped out of bed to save his mom and ran straight into flying bullets.
Keisha Valentine struggles to remain conscious. The shooter seems to have left the house.
But for as long as she lives she will never forget the words she hears next: It's her son Earl. He's hurt too, but he's on his cellphone calling for help.
"The 911 call. That's all I heard of him," said Keisha.
The police station is only minutes away. Officer Anton Edwards gets the call and races to the scene. The veteran cop is stunned at the carnage he finds inside the house.
"The door was open and I walked up and said 'Is everything OK?' And there's a woman's voice inside that said 'Help me, I've been shot,'" said Edwards. "[Earl III] was not very alert. I asked him what happened, he told me he'd been shot."
"Multiple gunshot holes in the walls and the floor," said Norlina Police Chief Taylor Bartholomew. "It was a lot of blood and I was amazed that Keisha survived, honestly, if you saw the crime scene and how bad it was."
Both Keisha and Earl are rushed to a nearby hospital, both in critical condition.
Keisha drifts in and out of consciousness in the intensive-care unit. But when she can speak, she only wants to know one thing.
"I kept trying to say 'Earl,' and they say 'You can't talk right now,'" said Keisha. "And every time I would get ready to say something it's as if they pushed medicine in me, and just, I would fall right back to sleep every time I tried to talk. They didn't know if I would make it the first 24 hours."
Cops are desperate to find out who would unleash this vicious attack on a defenseless mother and her young son. But it isn't long before they get a confession in the most shocking way imaginable. And it's no random stranger. The shooter is Earl Valentine, Keisha's ex-husband and the father of Earl III. Immediately after the shooting, he's letting the world know, on Facebook Live, that he's the man who did it.
"I just killed my wife," Valentine says during his Facebook Live broadcast. "She lied on me, had warrants taken out on me. She drug me all the way down to nothing."
According to Keisha, he's made several threats before, but this is the first time he's dared to follow through.
"Earl got out of control over money and made a whole lot of of threats on wanting to kill me," said Keisha Valentine. "He would say such things, but the mannerism of how he would say them was sarcastic, not in a serious 'Oh I'm gonna kill you,' like you hear on television."
"I loved my wife but she deserved what she had coming," Earl Valentines says in the Facebook Live broadcast. "I've been very sick for months and this is something that I could not help."
"He had a criminal history within our marriage," said Keisha. "Drug charges. When he did not have it, you saw an animal, like a wolf just coming after you type personality."
Keisha's daughter Debonet recalls one horrifying moment years before, when her father actually pulled a gun on her, wanting money from her. Debonet had an order of protection in place against her own father.
Police Chief Bartholomew manages to get on the phone with Earl Valentine as he is on the run. He gets a blood-chilling response.
"He was concerned about whether or not he had actually killed Keisha Valentine. He wanted to know, was she dead?" said Bartholomew. "I relayed to him the harm he had caused his son, and I could tell at that point he was kind of in shock about that."
The chief quickly realizes this unfolding tragedy was far from over.
"At that point he'd indicated to me that he had planned to cause harm to the rest of her family, so our concern was making contact with them and making sure they were safe," said Bartholomew.
"So I don't know if I'm gonna make it where I'm going, but if I don't, I wish all of you a good life," Earl Valentine says on the Facebook Live broadcast.
"I knew at that moment it would be one or two ways, that he wasn't coming in alive," said Bartholomew. "My main fear is that he would harm another officer."
Even at Debonet's college campus more than 60 miles away, security is on the lookout.
"They had a flier and they sent it to the whole school like with his face on it," said Debonet.
And then three days after his bloody rampage, Earl Valentine is finally cornered by police at a motel in Columbia, South Carolina.
"We were able to get a location on him and get local, federal and state law enforcement to his location to get him surrounded," said Bartholomew.
Cops fear a ferocious gun battle. But Earl fires only one shot -- and it's over.
"We were getting ready to enter the building. Like the coward he was, he took his own life instead of facing us," said Bartholomew.
Back at the hospital, Keisha is still fighting for life. To doctors' amazement, she is slowly winning the battle. And she still desperately wants to know only one thing.
"I screamed it: 'Where's Earl?' First thing coming out of my mouth," Keisha said.
And then her world comes crashing down around her all over again.
"A gentleman in a white coat comes up to me, 'Keisha Valentine?' 'Yes,' I said, 'Where is my son, where is Earl?'" said Keisha. "'I hate to inform you that in that shooting you were in, your son passed.' And the man walks out of the room."
Her son Earl Valentine III is dead at just 15.
"It seemed like a dream to me to be honest," said Keisha. "I still can't believe it to this day, someone telling me like that."
A son gunned down at the hands of his own father. But not before he literally saves his mother's life with his own quick thinking, bleeding to death as he calls for help.
"You know how I am sitting here: The strength of my son, and I have hope and faith and I have to be strong for him, because he made the call to get me where I am today," said Keisha. "He is a hero."
The tragedy is doubled as Keisha takes another listen to the last words of her son's 911 call, his very last words in this world: Earl III identifies his father as the shooter.
Today Debonet still treasures the video her little brother made for her only weeks before he died.
"He was like, don't forget about him when I go to college," said Debonet.
For Keisha, the healing comes slowly. She's still partially paralyzed, wondering if she will ever walk again. She still has bullets lodged in her body. She just had one recently removed.
"I still have one in my spine," said Keisha. "They don't believe I'm alive. They can't believe I exist. That's the ultimate goal: I want to walk again. When my walking proves I'm back 100 percent being Keisha. I want to be back like I was."
And the love and the pride she carries for her son Earl III will always count more than the five bullets she took in that hallway.
"His spirit is amongst us every day, every day, and I am stronger because of it," Keisha says. "It gives me strength, trust me. You ask every day, 'How do I do it?' I do it because of Earl. I live because of Earl."