STAFFORD, Texas - Three months after being shot in the line of duty, Officer Ann Marie Carrizales is back in the gym, fighting hard, training and making herself stronger to do the job she was born to do being a police officer.
"I feel guilty because my children make the sacrifice, my husband makes the sacrifice for their mom to be able to go out there every day, and though she's been through this ordeal that has shaken her family right to the core, there's still nothing I would rather do in this world then protect people," Carrizales said.
It was early in the morning on Oct. 26, 2013, when the Stafford police officer stopped to question three suspicious men in a car, all members of a notorious Houston gang.
According to investigators on the case, within minutes the passenger in the front seat, Sergio Francisco Rodriguez, opened fire and shot Carrizales in the face at point-blank range. Police said he also shot her in the chest, which could have killed her, if not for her bullet proof vest.
At that point Carrizales went down but she was not out, not by a long shot.
"That's the warrior mindset, that mentality, that no quit, no surrender, 'I'm not dying today,'" Carrizales said.
Bleeding profusely and in great pain, Carrizales got up and fired back, blasting out the rear window of the car and chasing the suspects for 20 miles.
How did she do it?
"I had a guardian angel on my shoulder who took those bullets with me," Carrizales said.
Carrizales has always been a fighter.
As a sergeant in the Marine Corps, she became the first woman to compete on the Camp Pendleton Men's Boxing Team.
She also won a national boxing championship in 1999 and was ranked No. 1 in the United States, for women in her weight class.
She was also honored with fighting for the All World Team.
But Carrizales said her toughest battles began when she was just a child growing up in an abusive home, with a father who beat her, her mother and her siblings.
"My father was very violent, and yes, we all suffered physical violence at the hands of my dad," Carrizales said.
In the Marine Corps, Carrizales was raped one night by a fellow Marine who broke into her room and attacked her in her bed.
But through everything, Carrizales has always kept on fighting, never giving up.
She has raised two beautiful children, Mikayla Rae and Joseph Anthony, with the support of her loving husband, Christopher.
She has always tapped into that inner caldron of pain and struggle to feed her power.
"It gives you tremendous strength, if you take those tragic things in your life and manage to fuel your soul with it," Carrizales said.
Carrizales still loves her father very much, and said, "I would not be the woman I am today without my father, I would not change anything."
To watch the full interview with Carrizales, click here.
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