MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Three men are behind bars, accused of a violent crime spree in Midtown over the weekend.
Memphis Police Department said three young men went on a violent robbery and shooting spree late Friday night, early Saturday morning in Memphis, holding up their victims with an AK-47.
One of the victims still has a bullet lodged inside of her.
"I knew God wasn't gonna let me go out on the weekend of my mama's birthday," said the 27-year-old shooting victim, who doesn't want her name used. "I knew it wasn't my time."
Shot with an AK-47 and lived to tell about it, the young lady said that she pulled into the Hope Credit Union on Madison Avenue in Midtown intending to withdraw cash.
But she noticed a guy watching her, so she reached, not for her debit card, but instead for her gun.
"That's what saved me," she said, "I'm licensed to carry and I was leaning over to get my pistol. Because it was going to be me or him, and I chose me."
Her would-be robber fired one shot at her car. The bullet tore through the trunk, back seat and driver's seat.
Because she was reaching over for her own weapon, the bullet hit her in the side, missing her spine and major organs.
She drove to the Exxon at Cleveland and Union Avenue and called 911. Next thing she did was send her mother a text that said, "I just got shot." It was 12:41 a.m. on Saturday morning.
"I never expected to get a text like that," her mother said. "It's a blessing, by the grace of God, she's still alive."
Forty-eight hours after the shooting, this Memphis mom is celebrating turning 55 by thanking God for her daughter's life.
"I could've been celebrating my birthday planning for her funeral," her mother said. "But God is good. This is the best birthday present ever. I thank Him. My prayers were answered when the hospital called and told me she was going to be OK."
Police said the men who tried to rob her daughter targeted more victims right after the shooting.
They drove to Central Gardens, where Chris and his friend were walking home after a night out in Cooper-Young. They had just turned off Central onto Anderson Street when a car pulled up.
"Two guys got out and they raised an AK-47 at us, a chrome-plated AK-47, and they told us to get down," Chris said.
Chris said the robbers demanded their wallets, phones, and keys.
The thought going through Chris' mind as he emptied his pockets, "This is probably how I die."
But this time, the crooks didn't fire the gun. They drove away, but came back seconds later, Chris said, to make sure he and his friend didn't have another cell phone to call for help.
The trio of robbers left again and that's when Chris and his friend started knocking on neighbors' doors, asking someone to call 911.
When police arrived, they were able to give investigators a partial tag number. The suspects were arrested a short time later on SB I-240 at Union Avenue.
Police charged 19-year-old Jordan Thomas, 20-year-old Matthew Thompson and 22-year-old Brian Fuller with attempted first-degree murder, two counts aggravated robbery and possession of a firearm in the commission of a dangerous felony.
Out of the hospital and now recovering, the rifle's bullet still inside of her, the young lady who survived an AK-47 shooting credits quick police work and her faith for her survival.
"We all have a purpose on this Earth," she said. "My purpose hasn't been fulfilled. It hasn't been fulfilled. I know He is not done with me yet."