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Woman's familiarity with a gun may have helped her escape suspect who took her hostage

Posted: 11:42 PM, Sep 06, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-07 17:07:45Z

After being caught in the middle of an armed robbery, police say a Las Vegas woman's quick thinking helped her disarm the suspect who had taken her as a hostage.

Experts say it was a risky move, but it's one that paid off because it appears she had experience with firearms. That one thing may have saved her life.

13 Action News sat down with our Crime and Safety Expert, Retired Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Lt. Randy Sutton, who reviewed the newly released police body camera video.

"We know that he's armed with two guns," said Sutton. "He's holding his pistol to the victim dragging her out." 

But the woman quickly turns the tables on the suspect who has been identified as 27-year-old Mario Trejo.

"He's got the wrong victim here," said Sutton. "First of all she is exceedingly courageous and second she's familiar with a firearm."

The video shows the woman confidently disarming the suspect and then running away giving police officers a clear shot.

"It's very rare for a civilian who is in that kind of situation to basically take aggressive action," Sutton said. "And that's what she did. She did a fantastic job! She's a hero."

Jeanette Morgan is the program director of the Annie Oakley Women's Shooting Program in Las Vegas. 

"I'm glad she was able to drop magazine, clear it and able to run away," said Morgan.

The program started with 200 women.

"2,000 women have gone through the Annie Oakley shooting program in less than a year and a half," said Morgan. 

Morgan believes that number is growing because more women are are understanding that self-defense is a personal responsibility.

"No one wants to be in that situation," Morgan said. "Everybody wants to be able to walk away in that situation and lucky for her she did." 

Trejo was shot once and is recovering in a hospital. He faces several charges.