SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The woman robbed at gunpoint at a Shreveport ATM over the weekend says she was shocked to learn that the suspect arrested in the case is an 11-year-old boy.
Surveillance video of the holdup shows a young man approach Pamela Rochester from behind as she stood at a Capital One cash machine on Hilry Huckaby Drive just after 10 p.m. on Saturday. The next thing she knew, there was a gun in her face.
"I couldn't believe it. It took a second for it to dawn on me what was happening, so I complied and gave him the money."
Rochester said she saw the man standing nearby on a cell phone, but assumed he was waiting his turn.
"After I got my money out, he ran up on me and put the gun to my head and he said, 'give me your money, all of it.'"
She said she hasn't gotten much sleep since.
"Nightmares keep coming I shut my eyes I see it."
Police released the security video on Tuesday in hopes of identifying the gunman. The pre-teen turned himself in to police early Wednesday morning.
"11-years-old. My God, a child robbed me. I'll never forget that," says Rochester.
The pre-teen is charged with a single count of armed robbery, and it was all for a paltry $20.
"I forgive him, you got a let go of the fear in the hate," explained Rochester.
"Maybe he'll change and turn his life around and realize you don't have to go robbing people, work for it. You don't realize you ruin your own family and the one you robbed."
Rochester said she's now working to overcome the fear caused by the traumatic experience and is encouraging others to be aware of their surroundings.
"It doesn't matter if you're alone, you should not be alone at a bank at night. It doesn't matter if there's people around because it's going to happen so be extra careful," she warns. "I'm a tough lady. I've never been scared of anything in my life, but that turned my life around it really did. It woke me up to appreciate every day."