A 25-year-old nursing student's worst fear came true Tuesday when she was thrown into the trunk of her own car by an armed robber.
Birmingham, Alabama resident Brittany Diggs recounted the nightmarish story on the “Today” show Monday morning.
Diggs said it started when when an unidentified man approached her outside her apartment and held her up at gunpoint.
When she told the man she didn't have any money, the robber said that she would then have to “help [him] get money” before forcing her into her nearby Nissan Altima.
According to People, the suspect kept a terrified Diggs inside the car as he attempted to rob two couples across town. But he didn't get what he wanted, causing him to grow angry with the woman.
That's when he ordered Diggs to get in the trunk.
Once his victim was locked away, he found her wallet and tried to withdraw money at various ATMs.
But the robber was trying to withdraw too much cash, and was denied access. When he pulled up to the final gas station, he made a threat against the student's life. He said:
“If this doesn't work, I'm going to kill you.”
Diggs knew that she needed to escape from the dark trunk before something worse happened. She said:
“My bigger fear was he was gonna drive this car into a river and I’m going to drown here in this trunk."
When the vehicle came to a stop, she remembered a life-saving strategy that she had seen in a video on Facebook...
Most cars have a safety hatch that can open the trunk from the inside.
The trouble was, she was in total darkness and couldn't see anything — that's when she remembered her insulin pump.
As the kidnapper was inside the gas station, attempting to steal money from her account, she got to work:
“I'm just sitting there thinking, and I'm like, I might have a trunk latch. I'd seen a video on Facebook so I had the bright idea to use my insulin pump light - so I found the latch.”
She then waited for him to get back in the car, but the robber pulled out quicker than she expected. Still, it was time to make her move.
In one swift motion, Diggs pulled open the trunk and tumbled out before sprinting into the nearby gas station, she said on “Today.”
She managed to reach the store owner, Yosef Al Sabah, who locked the door and called police. He told NBC News:
“As he was leaving, I saw the trunk popped up and a woman jumped out of the trunk and came inside the store.”
Police were able to recover the student's car, but have not yet located the armed suspect. This is the best photo they have captured of the man, who police say got away with roughly $100.
Diggs has yet to sleep in the apartment where she was held at gunpoint by her attacker, but she says she hopes sharing her story will help catch the man who tried to kidnap her.
Her friends have started a GoFundMe to help support Diggs, who they call an “Alabama hero.”