Two women who are part of a local gospel show program on KWRW (97.7 FM) were savagely attacked and robbed Sunday evening by two masked men. But the victims fought back so fiercely that their assailants — despite being armed —fled the scene on foot in opposite directions.
However, the two women suffered quite a bit because they fought back, authorities said.
"One of the women was struck several times with the pistol and the other woman was knocked to the ground with palms and knees scraped up pretty good," Rusk Police Lt. Jamie Campbell said Monday. "Both women had cuts and bruises and scrapes — one had a good black eye. But as soon as the suspects could grab that purse they got out of there."
The incident started about 8:15 p.m. Sunday as the women headed to their vehicles from the radio station, the lieutenant said.
"As they walked outside they were approached by the two black males, one wearing a red hoodie and one wearing a black hoodie," Lt. Campbell said. "They were both 5-foot-7 with slender to medium builds. That's all the information we have on them.”
Authorities on Monday still were gathering information on what exactly happened.
“We're not sure which of them produced a handgun or even what kind of handgun it was, but they demanded the purse from one of the women — at which point an altercation started between the two women and the two bad guys,” the lieutenant said.
During the fight, one of the masked men pistol-whipped one of the women while the other assailant wrestled with the other one, tooth and nail, on the ground.
The firearm was not fired during the incident, according to reports.
Shortly after the two men fled with the purse, two Rusk officers arrived, responding to an aggravated robbery call, authorities said.
Cherokee County Crime Stoppers also is offering a cash reward for information that leads to capture and conviction in this case.
Crime Stoppers can be reached at 866-586-7878.
Police Det. Steven Hughes also can be reached at 903-683-2677.
"I can't tell you the last time I saw something like this, and I've been here five years," Lt. Campbell said.