Channel 2's Steve Gehlbach reports.

Atlanta home invasion: Victims speak for first time

The young couple victimized during a brutal home invasion robbery at their northwest Atlanta home just over a week ago told their story to a national television audience Monday.

“I just remember audibly praying out loud,” Michael Lash told ABC’s Good Morning America, recounting the Aug. 16 attack that left him with gunshot wounds to both of his legs.

Lash, his wife, Whitney, and the couple’s two young children had just returned home from vacation when two teenagers approached him on the front porch of the Sumter Street home and asked if they could borrow a jack for their car, witnesses told police.

“My heart just sank, because I had a feeling that that was an excuse and that we were probably about to be robbed,” Whitney Lash told Good Morning America. “Right about that moment, I saw him put the gun on Mike.”

Michael Lash said the gunman “warned me one last time to get out of the way, and then I felt him shoot me in my left leg.”

Hearing the gunshots, Whitney Lash grabbed their 6-month-old daughter and ran out the back door. The couple’s 2-year-old son was asleep in an upstairs bedroom.

The gunman “came out the back door with the gun pointed at us and just chased me all the way through the yard,” Whitney Lash said. The suspect fired two shots at Whitney Lash, but neither she nor her daughter were hit.

“He followed her and caught up with her at the gate and turned around and said, ‘Please don’t shoot me, I have a little baby,’” Whitney Lash’s mother, Jessica Huffman, previously told Channel 2 Action News.

An artist’s sketch of the alleged gunman, along with a Crime Stoppers tip, led police to arrest 18-year-old Brandon Jerome Smith late Thursday. Smith was captured while walking to a friend’s house with a stolen .40-caliber handgun in his possession, Atlanta police said.

Smith, who police believe shot Michael Lash, was charged with armed robbery and aggravated assault.

Police are still looking for three other suspects, and Atlanta police Chief George Turner said Friday that investigators have “good leads.”

A GoFundMe account set up to help the young couple had raised nearly $108,000 through Monday morning.

As Michael Lash continues to recover from his gunshot wounds, Whitney Lash told Good Morning America: “We really do value every moment that we have together now.”

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