Woman shot by would-be purse snatcher

August 19, 2008 4:16:22 PM PDT
One woman fought back to stop a thief, even though he shot her twice. The terrifying ordeal started when the thief followed her home from a bank.Deputies say a woman in her 50s was just steps from her front door on Liberty Pine in northeast Harris County when she was attacked by a robber who wanted her purse.

"She fought back," said Sgt. Noel Araguz with the Harris County Sheriff's Office. "She didn't want to give her purse up. This upset the suspect and he fired three rounds at her, striking her twice."

Even with two gunshot wounds, investigators say the woman tried to get the license plate of the blue getaway car driven by a suspect wearing a blue bandanna around his face. The developments are shocking for neighbors who just moved in last month.

"Because the neighborhood we were in, there was a lot of stuff happening like this, a lot of it, so we moved here, thinking it would be better," said neighbor Diana Stewart. "I guess not."

Investigators say the woman stopped at a Bank of America branch to withdraw some money. They believe the robber followed her from that location to her home.

Sgt. Araguz warned, "We're telling people to watch their surroundings when you're taking money out of the bank. Look around before you enter your vehicle and even when you're leaving the parking lot. See who's behind you, especially if you are going home."

The sheriff's department says the woman didn't suffer life threatening injuries. The suspect got away, though he was not able to take the purse. Investigators say the victim got lucky.

"She fought for the purse and was able to keep her purse," said Sgt. Araguz. "She was very fortunate this time to keep the purse, but at what cost? Who wants to get shot twice?"

Investigators say the woman is in stable condition at Ben Taub Hospital. As for the suspect, the getaway car had paper license plates, so unfortunately investigators were not able to get much information on the suspect. They have only a vague description of him at this time -- a black male wearing dark clothing, with a bandanna tied around his face.

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