Woman shot during attempted robbery outside gas station

Polk investigators are looking for a young man who shot a 62-year-old woman at a convenience store while she sat in her car early Sunday morning.

“This makes you angry beyond words,” said Polk Sheriff Grady Judd. “Even a decent thug wouldn't do what this punk did. He is a coward and he is a punk.”

Melissa Thomas was on her way to work at Kohls around 5 a.m. 

When she walked out of the Circle K at 1108 Spirit Lake Road, a young man, who looked to be in his 20s, approached her and said something about her purse. He was wearing a hoodie and something covering his face.

Thomas didn’t think much of his outfit because it was very cold, deputies said.

But when Thomas got into her car, the man shot her and took off running. Investigators say he didn’t steal anything.

Thomas' mother, fighting cancer and frail, is incensed.

“He should have been shot hisself,” Ann Hughes told FOX 13. “Gimme a gun. I’ll find him.”

Judd made a plea on Monday for the community’s help to find the shooter. He said there is a $2,000 reward for anyone who turns the guy in.

Thomas is hospitalized and has undergone two surgeries.

The suspect is described as in his early 20s wearing a black hoodie with white lettering with his nose and mouth covered, wearing black pants.

Anyone with information should call deputies or HeartlandCrime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS.