‘I kept waiting for the gunshot': Mother, 2 children robbed at Collierville gas station

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — A mother and her children were robbed by several armed men at a Collierville gas station.

The mother was terrified for her children’s lives as they stopped to get snacks on the way to the movies around 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

FOX13 spoke with her a day after the experience.

Jill Pitcher said she parked at the Express Mart Shell gas station with her 8-year-old and 4-year-old boys before going to see a movie – but she knew something was wrong as they started to get out of the car.

“I got a gut feeling and knew something instantly was off,” Pitcher said. “I told my oldest to get back in his seat, do not get out of the car, because they were on his side.”

Pitcher told FOX13 she saw a car backing up in the parking spot next to her at the gas station at the corner of Byhalia Road and Winchester Road.

“It was full of men, it caught my attention backing up, the speed they did,” she said. “They were crooked, two parking spots. So, as I’m looking at them I see them all look at me.”

That is when she noticed another car blocking her in while buckling her youngest son into the car seat. Pitcher said the men all had guns.

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A few moments later, Pitcher said she felt a jerk as one of the men ripped the purse off her shoulder. She gave up her phone in order to protect her sons.

“The only thing I remember when I was laying on top of them was, ‘Please just let it be me,’ and I kept waiting to feel that in my back,” Pitcher said. “I kept waiting for the gunshot and I kept thinking, ‘Please let me have them covered enough.’”

The robbers got away and no one was hurt.

Collierville police are asking for help to find the group of men they said is responsible for two robberies, including the mother and children.

Police said the first victims drove up to the Orchard Apartments and were robbed by a group of five people. At least three of them were armed.

After they took the victims' wallets and purse, they immediately drove to the Shell Station on Byhalia Road and robbed the family of three.

Police are still looking for at least five men seen in two separate cars.

One is a black BMW with Tennessee tag 4J7-6W6 that was reported stolen on Dec. 1, and the other is a silver Mazda with Tennessee tag 2L2-4E6.

If anyone has any information, please contact the Collierville Detectives at 901-457-2520 or to submit an anonymous tip via text message to the Collierville Police Department, text CPDTIP and your tip to 847411.