BRANDON, Fla. (WFLA) – Around 9 p.m. Wednesday a woman pulled up to the night deposit box at Wells Fargo in Brandon to drop off money from her job at a nearby Dollar Tree.
Little did she know, this run-of-the-mill errand would turn into a terrifying encounter.
Within seconds, she was approached by a masked man. She locked her car. Then, at least two shots were fired before the shooter snatched her bag of money.
“Every horrifying thought you could possibly think of is going through your brain. Then when you get to the hospital and you’re met by a police officer and chaplain, it’s even worse,” said James McBratney, the victim’s father.
McBratney rushed to his daughter’s side thinking she could die after a bullet went into her leg. He’ll never forget what she said at the hospital.
“Those were the words out of her mouth. ‘Daddy, he put a gun to my face,’” McBratney said.
Claudia Tobar teaches self-defense courses at Central City Jiu Jitsu in Tampa. It’s her job to tell people what to do when faced with a robber.
“Awareness is number one. You need to scan your area. You need to know your surroundings,” she said.
Tobar said the victim should never be blamed, but others can learn how to be mindful in these types of situations.
“Just give it to them. Your life is more important than that. Your cell phone. Purse. Whatever. Give it to them,” she said.
The victim’s dad hopes it doesn’t happen to anyone else.
“To me, that is cowardly,” he said. “And he needs to be locked up.”
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s investigators are still trying to find the person responsible.
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