Unarmed officer tackles gunman to end brutal home invasion

48 Hours Live to Tell: Shot five times at point-blank range, a St. Louis police officer relives deadly attack

Produced by Shoshanah Wolfson and Sara Rodriguez
[This story was first broadcast on May 19]

(CBS News) St. Louis, Mo. -- She was shot five times at point-blank range; now a brave police officer tells her riveting story of survival.

Isabella Lovadina: I was so proud when I became a police officer. I knew that it was not a job that a lot of people can do. And it made me feel so good that I could go out there and do that.

I knew that I wanted to do something that was gonna make a difference and that I could help people.

Nick Koenig: I met Isabella -- on an accident.

Isabella Lovadina: I knew that he was a fireman and was wearing all his fire gear. And every girl thinks that's attractive [chuckles], or most women.

Nick Koenig: I thought, "How cool is this? This beautiful, little, petite girl that's, you know, a police officer." It was literally love at first sight.

Isabella Lovadina: He seemed like he would be really kind.

In October of 2009, Nick and I were taking an EMT class together.

Nick Koenig: I said, "Why don't you come over to my grandmother's house. We could have dinner. And -- after dinner, we can study together."

Isabella Lovadina: I really -- felt comfortable in that house. There was just a really warm feeling. I'm sure the people that lived there, you know, Nick's family, had a lot to do with why I felt that way.

Nick Koenig: Isabella and I finished studying around 12:30.

Isabella Lovadina: Nick always walked me outside and -- to watch me get in the car, make sure I was safe.

Nick Koenig: I walked her out to car and she put away her gun and her bulletproof vest.

Isabella Lovadina: I went back to give Nick a hug goodbye. It was only a matter of -- a minute before I heard tires squealing.

Nick Koenig: I remember her eyes getting really big and I see the fear in her eyes.

And I turn and right as I'm turning there's two black males walking really fast at us with their guns drawn.

Isabella Lovadina: One of them said... "Give me whatever you got." And I said, "I don't have anything."

I can't give him my car keys because I have a gun in the car.

Nick Koenig: And right away they point towards my grandmother's house.

Isabella Lovadina: One of the guys said, "Who's in the house?"

Nick Koenig: I said, "Please leave, there's women and children in that house."

Isabella Lovadina: I knew that there was two little boys in there, I knew that Nick's grandmother and aunt were sleeping inside.

I knew that it wasn't gonna end there. I knew that they weren't just gonna leave. ...Then they directed us at gunpoint to go inside.

Right when we get into the house ...they became very angry, it was "Put your f---ing head on the ground, I'll kill you."

Nick Koenig: They're going to kill us all [sighs].

Isabella Lovadina: My mind just went into police mode. What am I going to do to keep everybody in this house safe... and get them out?