Couple robbed at McDonald’s thank stranger who helped thwart purse snatcher

Stranger shot while helping victim of purse snatching at Louisville McDonald's

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A stranger was shot in the face as he chased an alleged purse snatcher from a Louisville McDonald’s. Now the victim and her husband want to say thanks.

Terry Tharp said he's lucky he wasn't shot. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Terry Tharp said he's lucky he wasn't shot. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

The teenage suspect was arrested minutes after the shooting. The victim is still recovering in the hospital.

It all started Saturday at a McDonald’s on Dixie Highway in PRP, near West Pages Lane.

The victim was shot after jumping in his car and chasing after the suspect.

“My wife means everything to me,” Terry Tharp said. “She is precious cargo.”

Terry and Nancy Tharp were at McDonald’s when things went wrong.

“He bumped her,” Tharp said. “Almost knocked her to the ground and then he proceeded to take the purse.”

As the suspect ran off with Nancy’s purse, Terry and another customer chased after him.

“I think he (the suspect) saw that I was catching, gaining on him,” Terry said. “He turned around and fired two shots at me. I’m very lucky that he didn’t hit me.”

That’s when Terry backed off. The other customer, a complete stranger to the Tharps, kept the chase going.

The stranger followed the suspect in his car, trying to block the alleged thief from running any further. He succeeded once they got to West Pages Lane. But that’s when the suspect allegedly opened fire again.

“Oh my gosh,” Tharp said. “Someone that I didn’t know risked everything to help me and for his help he was shot in the face.”

Police said the victim is expected to survive.

“We don’t know his name and I’m hoping there’s a way that we can reach out to him and his wife and say, ‘Hey thank you very much,’” Tharp said.

At the end of the chase with the suspect, when police got involved, a Louisville Metro Police Department officer fired at the suspect, but did not hit him. LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit is investigating.

The suspect is a juvenile, so he won’t be named, but WAVE 3 News confirmed he remains locked up.

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