COPLEY TOWNSHIP, Ohio - On August 7, Melonie Bagley's kind heart and motherly instincts thrust her, along with her three young children, into the middle of the Copley Township shooting spree.
The 28-year-old mother heard gunfire and screaming outside of her home on Schocalog Road. She looked outside and saw 11-year-old Scott Dieter running towards her home yelling for help.
WEB EXTRA: Watch the full, exclusive interview with Melonie Bagley and WEWS' Bob Jones
"We didn't know him. He didn't know us. But he came to our door, so I let him in," Bagley said.
She also spotted the gunman, Michael Hance, trailing behind Scott by just a few seconds. What she didn't know was that Hance had already shot seven people, killing six of them including Scott's father, Craig Dieter.
Bagley said her mother's boyfriend, Gary, locked the front door and they hurried to the basement, turned off the lights and hid Scott.
Bagley's three children, 9-year-old Dae-Shawn, 3-year-old Destany, and 1-year-old Arrieona were also forced to the basement. While they sat in darkness, they heard more gunfire outside their home.
"All of us were praying, 'God help us,'" Bagley said.
But Hance fired shots into the front door, burst inside and kicked in the basement door.
Suddenly, Bagley was face-to-face with the gunman, who pointed a gun to her head and spoke.
"He just asked where the little boy was when we were in the basement and he had the gun to my head. He was just asking, 'Where's the little boy? I know he's here,'" Bagley recalled.
Still trying to protect Scott, Bagley told Hance she didn't know where the boy was. But, Hance had a flashlight on a key chain and spotted Scott. Bagley grabbed her two girls, ran for the steps and yelled for Dae'Shawn and Scott to follow.
She only made it to the second step when her worst nightmare came true and she heard an awful sound.
"I just heard a gunshot and I just knew right then that he was gone," Bagley said.
Scott, the 11-year-old boy Bagley tried so desperately to protect, was murdered in her basement.
"We always think about the what-ifs, but I know there was nothing that could change it," Bagley said.
She ran out of the house with her kids and they were tackled by police.
Moments later, Officer Ben Campbell shot and killed Hance after he raced out the front door with a gun.
With the tragedy almost three weeks behind them, Bagley feels blessed her family is alive.
"For the life of me, I don't know why he didn't kill us, but I know God had a big role in it," Bagley said.
Her heart continues to ache for the Dieter family as she re-plays that horrific day in her mind.
"If we could re-live that day, I would still open the door because he could have died by himself. If that was my son or daughter or anybody, I would be at ease to know that somebody let him come in and he didn't die by himself," Bagley said.