‘Help! He’s got a gun!’ Women fend off would-be robber in Walmart parking lot


COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (KTVI) – A suspect is on the loose after two women stood their ground in an attempted robbery at a Walmart in Illinois. Diana Hardesty and Mattie Talbot were loading their car at a Collinsville store when a man jumped out of the passenger side of a dark-colored SUV, displayed a gun, and demanded a purse.

“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 Hardesty.

“I wasn’t going to give my purse with my personal information in it,” she 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 Hardesty refusing to give up her purse, the suspect turned the gun on Talbot. “I told him I don’t have a purse, and he just shoved the gun into my side,” Talbot said.

According to a spokesperson with the Collinsville Police Department, the suspect got back into the SUV and sped away after being thwarted by the women.

“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.”

Police described the suspect as a Black male, standing 6 feet tall with a thin build, around 30 years old, with a tattoo on his neck. The incident has led Hardesty to protect 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,” she said. “And I’m going to practice until I can shoot a bullet through a keyhole.”

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