FRESNO, Cal. (NBC) - Brianne Rodriguez acted fast to save her 2-year-old from the grip of a stranger. The drama played out Tuesday morning in their Fresno County, California home.
"The only thing I was thinking was please God don't let him take my baby. I kicked into lioness mode protecting my cub," says Rodriguez.
It was just before 9:00 a.m. when Rodriguez heard a knock at her front door.
Through the window she saw what looked like a salesman and ignored him.
"Not even five minutes later I hear three pows coming from the back bedroom. I go back there in the doorway and I see this guy with a ski mask," Rodriguez says.
The confrontation led to a struggle with the robber.
Rodriguez fell to the ground and was kicked in the face and the ribs.
The man then grabbed her screaming daughter and took off.
"I said 'I've got to save my kid, that's my life, my everything my love,' so I ran to my room where we have the shotgun and I grabbed the shotgun. I came chasing out here after her and I yelled some obscenities at him, cocked my shotgun a couple times. He saw it. He threw her on the floor," Rodriguez says.
Her bravery is being applauded by the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.
"It's her 2-year-old daughter she's fighting for, so I think anybody here would've done the same thing and you know kudos to her," says Deputy Chris Curtice.
The robber did get a way with Rodriguez's purse and some jewelry, including her wedding ring.
"The stuff that he stole for us is miniscule to the fact that my daughter was with him," says Rodriguez.
This isn't the first time she's used a gun to scare off a criminal.
A year ago she chased off a prowler in her yard.
Rodriguez hopes she will never go through this again, but she'll do what she has to, to protect what matters most.