TACOMA, Wash. - A mother says she’s grateful to be alive after she and her son were carjacked outside their home in Tacoma at the beginning of November.
The woman says she was dragged by the alleged thieves and was nearly killed as they made a second attempt to run over her.
Her 9-year-old son, Nicolas, was just mere feet away and witnessed the attack.
"My mom and I are fine, and we're going to have a better life," Nicolas said.
The child is manifesting a better tomorrow after witnessing his mom, Emily, come face to face with the thieves.
Emily says the nightmare started on Nov. 9 when a man and a woman pulled up next to her in a Kia Soul outside her apartment. She and Nicolas were getting ready to head out for school and work when she says the man walked over and got in her car.
"He actually looked at me and as I'm holding on [to the door through the window], he hits the gas and the tire hits my whole right leg," Emily said. "The whole right side of my body. It cuts me, it cuts my arm and as he lurches forward, my head smashed into the doorframe."
Terrifying moments Emily recalls as she clung to her car on impulse.
The struggle left her in the middle of the street where she thought the horrible ordeal was over.
However, that wasn’t the case.
"He circles back around and takes a second attempt at me," Emily said.
She was caught between screaming for help and pleading for her son to run and hide.
After the fact, what was most alarming to her was knowing the crooks made off with the keys to her home.
"That night, I literally sat in front of my front door crying with a knife in my hand, so scared because you can see on my parking space it says the apartment number," Emily said.
Emily went to the hospital for her injuries-- bruises showed up on her legs, arms and face. The mother also suffered a concussion but says nothing compares to the unseen pain.
"I have crippling anxiety every time I have to go out to my car," Emily explained.
"I'm so scared in my mind. Since that day, my mind has been feeling like it’s been poisoned," Nicolas said.
Emily says something as simple as leaving her trunk open as she unloads groceries fills her with anxiety.
"I'm scared to have Nicholas run out to grab his backpack, I’m scared to go out to my car," Emily said.
As their physical wounds heal, Emily and Nicolas say they're coping with the trauma but say this sense of violation is going to stay with them for a long time.
Emily says her car was found 24 hours later in Fife, filled with stolen merchandise and drug residue.
"All of all my things had been stripped off. It had been spray painted and they had thrown out every single possession of ours," Emily said.
The vehicle has been impounded as evidence.
"My mom is a strong woman and she'll do her best to protect me," Nicolas said.
The single mother understands the difficulties a situation like this causes.
"We have to stop saying that this is acceptable because people are dying from a carjacking. Maybe we're not dying, but maybe it's us losing our job or losing our wages or stopping being able to support our children because we lost our only way to our job," Emily said.
As a paramedic, she says she sees firsthand the number of people, victims of gun violence, car thefts, assaults and homicides, still she says she’s talking to her neighbors about it – especially if they have children.
"If we want crime to become less, we have to start stopping crime," Emily said. "So I hope the community comes together to protect each other and that the police understand that while a life isn't lost, it can be lost in so many other ways," Emily said.
The family says they’re in the process of moving because they no longer feel safe.
Tacoma Police said detectives have a case filed as it’s still under investigation. They have not yet released any suspect information or descriptions.