CERES -- As people were out doing last-minute shopping this Christmas Eve one family wanted people to be alert so that no one else has to go through what happened to their loved one.
Injured and shaken, Letticia Mariscal was recovering after she was knocked to the ground by a purse snatcher with a gun in broad daylight.
"She's 62. My dad passed away six years ago," said the victim's son, Juan Carlos Mariscal. "She's all we have. My dad's not here."
Juan Carlos Mariscal said his mother was out doing some Christmas shopping at the Rancho San Miguel Market in Ceres when she was attacked in the parking lot.
"When she was dropping things off at her car a guy approached her from behind grabbed her purse, pulled her," he said. "Threw her to the ground, leaving her on the ground, and she says that he had a gun in his hand."
The crook left her lying on the ground and afraid for her life.
"She said when he had the gun she said, 'I'm done.' She thought that it was over," Juan Carlos Mariscal told FOX40.
She suffered a dislocated shoulder and other injuries.
Leticia Mariscal told police the suspect ran away when a car came driving by.
"I want the guy caught, you know. If he's willing to do that to an older lady," her son said. "He had a gun, so thank God it didn't escalate. It didn't get worse but he still hurt her."
Ceres police say the brazen thief made off with the victim's purse and everything in it, including her bank and social security cards, Christmas cards and $1,200 in cash.
Juan Carlos Mariscal said the thief didn't just steal his mother's purse he also took her sense of safety.
"She's been crying. She said the other day that she imagines him standing here," he said. "She's scared. We're hoping she gets better quick but, you know, it leaves a mental scar."
Police searched the area but did not locate the thief.
Now, Juan Carlos Mariscal is warning everyone to be aware of their surroundings because this could happen to anyone.
"There's people out there willing to hurt you, to take your stuff and who knows what else they're willing to do," he said.
Police say it is still an active investigation and they're asking anyone who may have witnessed the attack to contact them.