By Geena Martinez
MIDLAND - A Midland woman attacked leaving a department store. The suspect had a gun and demanded her car and now she's talking about her terrifying ordeal.
It's an extremely scary thing to think about but for this women, it became a reality and it quickly turned into a life or death or situation.
"He's going to shoot me," the woman said. "He didn't bring this gun just to scare me."
But that didn't stop the woman, who we'll call Jane, from fighting for her life.
Just before 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night, Jane said she was getting into her car at the Midland Park Mall when it happened.
"As I pulled it closed, the man got his hand in the door and pulled it back open," Jane said.
When she looked up she said she saw a black man in a ski mask. He demanded her keys but Jane said no.
"He grabbed me by the arm and tried to drag me out of the car," she said. "He started punching me. Once he had me on my back on the seat, I started kicking."
After seconds of struggling, the attacker briefly backed off and demanded the keys yet again, but this time he pointed a gun.
"Once I saw the gun I felt like I had to fight," Jane said. "I didn't feel like if I handed him the keys that he was going to let me slide out of the car and walk away."
Jane said at that moment, somewhere, a car's headlights shined on the attacker.
"He looked up, punched me one more time and ran off," she said.
Police were on the scene minutes later.
Sgt. Darin Clements with Midland Police Department said Jane's decision to fight back may have saved her.
"We do advise people not to go to secondary locations with people because it's usually a lot worse than the first one," he said.
Sgt. Clements teaches self-defense classes and he said every situation is different, but if you do decide to fight back, there are ways to protect yourself.
"Your leg muscles are a lot stronger than your arm muscles," Sgt. Clements said. "While you're kicking, lay on the horn. You're going to draw attention to yourself."
He also said be aware and alert of your surroundings and always trust your gut.
For now, Jane is left badly bruised and scared, but she hopes speaking out will prevent another attack in the future.
"Please, please be careful. We have to get this man off the streets. I'm afraid he may shoot the next person who fights," she said. "I'd like to thank the person that pulled in whose lights shined on his eyes because that's probably the person who saved my life."
NewsWest 9 did get a statement from the Mall and they tell they us they take situations like this very seriously. Safety of their shoppers is their main priority and if a customer does not feel safe walking to their car alone, they can ask a mall security guard to walk with them.