In 2012, a struggling artist named Laura Murray was completely broke. So, she began sketching portraits of strangers in Central Park to help cover rent and pay the bills.
One afternoon that November, Laura was heading up to her fifth-floor apartment when two armed men suddenly ambushed her.
Laura was absolutely terrified, but she tried to remain calm as she was dragged to the end of a dark hallway. One of the men pulled out a gun and pointed it at her chest. “Don’t scream or I’ll shoot you,” he quietly warned. The men took off with her wallet, jewelry and an mp3 player.
During the attack, and without even realizing it, the portrait artist in Laura kicked into high gear. She was studying her attacker’s facial features, expressions and stature.
When she made it up to her apartment, Laura broke down in tears. She called police, then got out her paper and pencils — and began sketching the gunman’s face using nothing but her memory.
“This was my self-defense,” Laura said. “This was my way of not being a victim.”
Never in a million years did Laura think her portrait skills would come in handy quite like this. According to IOA News, the two men went on to rob another woman at gunpoint. The older man had previously been convicted on weapons and drug charges, as well as a 1975 rape.
Watch the video below to see what happened once detectives took a closer look at her sketch.
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