A D.C. father’s instincts kicked in on Wednesday when he says he fought off a gunman demanding the keys to his car while his daughter was still inside.
The frightening encounter happened just after lunch time in a Capitol Hill alley.
The man, who did not want News4 to reveal his identity, said he had just pulled his Prius into the garage behind his home in Southeast D.C., when a gunman surprised him from behind and demanded the keys to the car.
“That parental instinct is real," he said.
While thinking only of his daughter, the man held onto the keys.
“When I didn’t comply, he hit me on the head with his gun, knocked me to the ground or pulled me to the ground, I can’t recall. I got up and he was still demanding the keys. At that point, I decided I had to defend myself and my daughter and we began fighting," he said.
As the two men fought in the alley, the man said he told his attacker he would not get the car with his daughter still inside. He said the gunman then replied, "Do you want to die today?”
During the attack, the victim was on the phone with his husband who heard what was happening.
“I ran out and started running home and flagged down a police officer," his husband said.
As the police responded, the victim, who is proficient in martial arts, was still in a battle in the alley.
“At a certain point, I think he just realized that with her crying and me standing firm, it wasn’t really worth it," the victim said.
That’s when the suspect retreated down the alley.
Several officers happened to be at a 7-Eleven across the street at the time, but they were unable to find the gunman.
“I’m doing okay. Fortunately, I don’t have any major injuries. Just a lot of bruising," the victim said.
He said the instinct to fight back and protect his daughter filled him with adrenaline,
but admits it could have turned out badly.
Although shaken, he said he and his daughter are doing fine.
D.C. police said investigators have not made an arrest and they are still looking for any video of the gunman before or after the attack.