Wanda Pierce, 70, pulled into her son's driveway like she does every morning, hopping out of the driver's seat to the passenger side and waiting for her son to emerge so the pair could carpool to work.
Suddenly her passenger door opened. Pierce thought it was her son.
"As soon as I turned my head, there we were, face-to-face," Pierce told WTHR-TV in Indianapolis. She wasn't looking at her son, but another man in his early 20s.
And he was pointing a gun at Pierce and grabbing the purse on her lap.
That's when the great-grandmother did something her attacker probably wasn't expecting.
"For some particular reason, instinct told me at the same time, 'That's mine,'" Pierce told WTHR of the Tuesday attack. "'I work for what I get. You're just a young punk running around out here doing things you ought not do and you're not getting my purse.'"
"Then he told me, 'Lady, give me the purse or I'm going to shoot you,'" Pierce recalled. "And that's when I told him, 'No, you won't' -- bad word -- and I held on to it anyway," she told WTHR.
Pierce acknowledged that the safest path in that situation was to give up her purse — and that if she had to do it over again she'd make a different choice — but "until you're in that situation, you really don't know what you'd do."
"I was bound and determined to keep what was mine," she said. "Didn't work."
The attacker then pistol-whipped her, Pierce said. "He hit me in the head and I knew it was bleeding, but I still held on."
"I continued to hold onto the purse and he hit me here," she added, pointing to her right wrist.
"And something else hit me that said 'let go' and I let go," Pierce said.
The man may have gotten away with her purse, but Pierce said she'd face him in court in a heartbeat and give him a piece of her mind.
"I'd tell him, 'I hope that wherever you're going, somebody beats the living tar out of you because you deserve it,'" Pierce told the station. "I only got hurt, but that's all right. At least I gave 'em a fight. I don't think he quite expected that either."