COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (KTVI) — A suspect is on the loose following an attempted robbery at a Walmart in Collinsville, Illinois. The would-be robber went after two women as they were loading items they bought into their vehicle.
“I turned and started screaming like a crazy person—bloody murder—screaming, ‘Help! He’s got a gun!’ screaming with everything my lungs had,” said Diana Hardesty.
Hardesty and Mattie Talbot were loading their car when a man jumped out of the passenger side of a dark-colored SUV, displayed a gun, and demanded a purse.
“I wasn’t going to give my purse with my personal information in it,” Hardesty said. “And I knew when I turned around there was going to be a good chance he was going to shoot me in the back. But that’s just what he was going to have to do.”
With Diana refusing to give up her purse, the suspect turned the gun on Talbot.
“I told him I don’t have purse and he just shoved the gun in my side,” Talbot said.
According to a spokesperson with the Collinsville Police Department, the suspect got back into the SUV and sped off after the two women held their ground.
“The driver puts it in reverse and, I mean, barrels,” Hardesty said. “They were lucky no one was behind them. And they just—all the way down that whole aisle—as fast as they could go.”
The two say they are still shaken but grateful to be alive.
Sunday afternoon’s incident has also led to Diana protecting herself in a new way.
“I got me a gun and the next thug that approaches me, I’m going to use him as target practice,” Hardesty said. “And I’m going to practice until I can shoot a bullet through a keyhole.”
Police described the suspect as a Black male, standing six-feet tall with a thin build, around 30 years of age, with a tattoo on his neck.
Anyone with information on the attempted robbery is asked to contact CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.