BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Mount Vernon business owner said she is grateful to be alive after a suspect walked into her shop in broad daylight and held up the store at gunpoint.

She said when the robber pushed her in the closet, she thought she was going to die. All she said she could think of doing was to use her body as a shield to protect one of her employees.

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“I was never so afraid in my life. Ever,” said Christine Psoras, Flowers By Chris.

A Mount Vernon floral shop owner said her average day at work turned to terror in an instant.

“Said, ‘I have a gun. He said ‘It’s going to get messy in here. I want the money,'”

Just after 3 p.m. Monday, she said the suspect casually walked into the store along West Eager Street and asked for help, but then his demeanor quickly changed, she said, as he stuck a gun in her back and demanded money.

“Florists, I mean, they don’t have a lot of money, they don’t have a lot of cash,” She said. “Finally he said, ‘Get in that closet,’ so he pushed me in the closet, and I really thought this is my last day on Earth,” Psoras said.

Psoras and her employee Laura were the only ones in the store.

“I was pretty calm until he told us to get in the closet and there is no reason for him to put us in the closet unless he is going to kill us,” Lauren Corcoran said. “I got in I was like I don’t want to die in this closet right now,”

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After 10 minutes, he walked out with their purses flung over his shoulder. He ran toward Charles Street and possibly hopped on a bus.

This is just one of a recent string of crimes in Mount Vernon that has left people anxious and desperate for change.

In December, someone torched several cars on North Charles Street just days before Christmas.

Police arrested one suspect.

Employees at the floral shop said there have been other robberies in the area.

But for this long-time shop owner, she was back at work and counting her blessings.

“Then I get on my knees, thank God. It could have ended really bad, and why it didn’t it was God. Gave me another day,” Psoras said.

The women were not hurt, police did confirm the incident.

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Ava-joye Burnett