"You shouldn't have to navigate your own city like a war zone. It's un-American," Charise Taylor, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, told WDSU. "The crime is out of control and it's terrifying. At this point, having to use the same tactics in an American city that you use in Iraq and Afghanistan simply to navigate through the city, it's scary, and I'm not the only mom feeling this way."
Taylor said she was on her way to pick up her husband on Friday in New Orleans when she got stuck in traffic on Interstate 10. While navigating the backup, a group of people in a truck motioned to her to let them into her lane. She let them in, but soon after a man came up to her passenger door and began pulling on the handle.
"So, as he comes up he's close, and he's pretty aggressive trying to get the car door open, makes eye contact with me, he's still trying to get it open a couple times," Taylor said.
She picked up her gun and recalled warning him: "It’s locked and loaded."
The suspect ran off and she was not forced to fire her weapon - though she said she was ready to do so in order to protect her son.
"The emotions honestly your body takes in a different form. I stayed in my body of course, but everything transformed. I'm trained to do this. I've gone to classes. I'm prior military. If I have to pull this trigger, that's what I have to do," Taylor said.
She filed a police report but said she was left troubled that the incident was only classified as a "disturbance," according to WDSU.
The New Orleans Police Department is investigating the incident.