Shooting victim speaks about man who risked his life for hers

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
Dwayne Phelps and Jasmine Greer By Jennifer Thomas Dwayne Phelps and Jasmine Greer By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Nearly nine months ago, a Valley woman went to buy a car but ended up being targeted by thieves, that is, until a good Samaritan stepped in. Now that police have made arrests in the case, she's telling her story.

"I had no idea I was being set up, I had no idea this was going to happen," Elizabeth Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez remembers the night of April 18 when she set out to buy a car from her co-worker, Jasmine Greer, and instead was attacked.

It happened in Phoenix near 48th Street and Virginia Avenue.

"He came up to me and that’s when he took out the gun and he pointed it right at me," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said Dwayne Phelps, 24, demanded her money and her cellphone.

"I cried out for help, I argued with the guy, I fought the guy,"Rodriguez said. "Then I heard two shots."

Rodriguez was shot once in the leg and while in the hospital learned of Jerold Garrison, the good Samaritan who was also shot while trying to help.

"I was just trying to diffuse the situation, last thing I thought was he’d shoot me," Garrison said.

Garrison was shot once in the neck. He underwent multiple surgeries and was in the hospital comatose for weeks.

"I felt guilty for a long time thinking he was not there, you know … he had nothing to do with it … he was just there at the right time or rather the wrong time," Rodriguez said.

Once Garrison was released from the hospital Rodriguez was finally able to meet him.

"I felt like he was a hero, I didn’t want to let him go," Rodriguez said. "I will never forget him, I’ll never forget what he did. He is my angel."

And now that Greer is charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery and Phelps is charged with attempted armed robbery and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, Rodriguez finally feels safe speaking out.

"I'm a lot more comfortable knowing they're both in jail," Rodriguez said. "To me it's crazy because in the end they didn't get any money, I never gave up the money."