The victim of a brazen robbery in Hermitage talked with NewsChannel 5 about the attack that lasted only minutes but something she'll never forget.
It happened just after 6 p.m. Sunday night along Central Pike in Hermitage The woman was attacked at knife point in the parking lot.
"He put it to my chest. He put the knife to my chest and said give me the purse or I'm going to kill you," said Gina Thompson.
She told her story just a few hours after she was whisked by ambulance to the hospital after the ordeal outside a Hermitage Walgreens.
"He was on me within seconds," said Thompson refering to her attacker. She had just walked from the store and was getting into her car.
"I was trying to shut the door and he pulled it open and I wasn't strong enough and he dragged me out of the car," said Thompson.
She started screaming as he held the knife to her gut and then yanked her purse away. Witnesses came to help, but the suspect escaped.
Thompson said it was over in seconds.
"You think you're prepared for something like that, but you never are prepared for something like that," said Thompson.
"They are looking for an easy victim they can go after," said personal safety expert Buford Tune.
Tune said more people are now carrying weapons for protection, but it's even more important to watch your surroundings and zero in on strangers.
"You've got to look them in the eye and stay aware of people around you. Look at them straight and say hey -- how are you? And, if they are up to no good watch how fast they go in the other direction," said Tune.
Yet, Thompson said she never saw her attacker until he was on her.
She said it will be some time before she feels safe in public again. Thompson said she will take a self-defense class.
Thompson, who is the daughter of a former Metro police officer lost a week's worth of pay that was in her stolen purse.
Friends have organized a fundraiser and will accept donations on her behalf at the Constant Smoke BBQ at 3414 Lebanon Road through Wednesday.