48 year old Robert Berger had just been let out of jail a week earlier. He broke into a Salt Lake City Utah home and terrorized two sisters, Bre and Kayli Lasley. ‘Now I’m going to get your little sister,’ he said. Bre reached up and said, ‘No, you’re not.’
Kayli grabbed a metal rack — somehow ripping it off the wall where it was bolted — and began hitting him over the back repeatedly.
The Daily News Reports:
Two sisters who fought off a man who tried to kill them in their Salt Lake City home said their bond saved them.
Bre and Kayli Lasley took turns tackling the man, who police identified as Robert Berger, after he snuck into Bre’s bedroom in Salt Lake City late Tuesday night. As Berger repeatedly stabbed Bre, a police officer arrived and shot him dead.
Bre, 27, was working on her computer and listening to music around midnight when she heard a man whisper near her window, which she had left open about an inch to cool down her first-floor bedroom. She thought it was a commercial playing from her laptop and dismissed the noise.
But 10 minutes later, she couldn’t ignore it.
“I heard his voice and he just said, ‘Hey girl, I’m coming in,” Bre told the Daily News Saturday.
Berger, standing 6’2″, got inside after opening the heavy window using a broom while standing on a chair, police said.
“He said, ‘You either cooperate with me or I’m going downstairs to get your little sister,'” Bre said. “He put his left hand over my mouth and started punching me in the stomach.”
Bre fought off the shirtless man as she screamed for Kayli, who was in her basement bedroom. Kayli, 22, ran upstairs immediately, and they hit him as hard as they could. They felt like they were fighting a ghost because the home was pitch black, and Kayli never saw what the man looked like.
Berger kicked Kayli down the stairs, sending her head through a wall and leaving a hole in the basement sheetrock. He tried to push Bre down the stairs, but he fell down with her because she had been grabbing onto his shorts.
The sisters, who both had their cellphones on them, each called 911 as Berger hit them to try to stop.
“It was weird because he just looked at my sister and curiously asked, ‘What are you doing? Why are you calling police?'” Bre said.
Once he realized, Berger jumped on top of Kayli.
“My phone fell down the stairs and the light shone, and he was strangling Kayli up against the wall,” Bre said.
The older sister charged at Berger, tackling him into the basement’s laundry room. Berger got on top of her as Kayli grabbed a metal rack — somehow ripping it off the wall where it was bolted — and began hitting him over the back repeatedly.
Bre went to go grab a pencil to protect herself when she saw Berger had a knife. She screamed for her sister to go upstairs and get help. She thought it would be the last time she ever saw her sister.
“I didn’t want to leave her,” Kayli said. “I started running back up the stairs and I heard her scream, ‘Kayli, he’s stabbing me, he’s stabbing me.'”
Berger stabbed Bre repeatedly in the stomach and leg, puncturing the same spot as though trying to hit the aorta — which would have been a fatal blow.
“After he was finished, he stood up and said, ‘Now I’m going to get your little sister,'” Bre said. “I reached up and said, ‘No you’re not,’ and pulled him back down.”
In the tussle, Berger moved his knife to try to stab her another six or seven times, including in the right eye, but he somehow kept missing.
“I remember looking down at my body and looking up at my knife and thinking, ‘Why isn’t this working?'” Bre said. “There was something there protecting me. There was a shield over my body…there’s no way it could’ve been anything else beside a higher power.”
As Berger and Bre tussled, Kayli ran outside screaming and pounding on neighbors’ doors for help. A police officer who had been in the neighborhood ran inside the house as Berger had Bre in a headlock. He had the knife against her throat as if he was about to slice across it.
“I saw two black boots coming down the stairs and I thought it was a friend,” Bre said. “And I couldn’t hear my sister screaming anymore and I thought he’d killed her.”
The officer soon identified himself and told Berger to drop the weapon three times.
“Right when (the suspect) flexed, that’s when the officer shot, taking his life and saving mine,” Bre said. “His arm went like a noodle and he fell to the ground.”
Berger was shot once in the head he died at the scene, police told Fox 13.
Drenched in blood, Bre ran outside, where she and Kayli collapsed on the front porch. Neighbors, who happened to be firefighters, came over and treated Bre before an ambulance arrived.
Doctors were amazed because Berger somehow missed slicing any organs, Bre said. She was released from the hospital Wednesday night and has to take preventative medication against HIV because police are not sure if Berger was HIV-positive.
Berger had just gotten out of prison a week earlier — the same day the sister moved into their new home. The women are now staying with their parents in Davis County.
Berger had an extensive criminal history, including arrests for aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping, over 30 years.
The sisters said they’re not sure why the man attacked, although at one point he claimed all he wanted was to steal their car keys.
In the 10 minutes between Berger first whispering and him breaking in, he had tried to get into a 2-year-old girl’s bedroom in a nearby home, police said. But her parents fought him off and called 911, which is why the officer was in the area when Kayli ran outside screaming.
They’re grateful to the officer who saved them. Bre said “I’ve never loved anyone more.”
But they know another love kept them safe — theirs.
“It was as if her entire purpose was protecting me, and my entire purpose was protecting her,” Bre said. “That’s why we’re alive.”