Mom buying soda for kids at DeSoto Dollar General faces gun from suspected police impersonator

DE SOTO, Kan. -- A woman said a DeSoto Dollar General employee followed her to her car and pulled out a gun. The man is now facing charges for pretending to be a police officer.

The victim talked exclusively with FOX 4's Megan Dillard.

FOX 4 didn't use the victim's name or show her face to protect her identity. The young mother opened up about the man who pulled a gun on her and pretended to be a cop, after she stopped to buy soda for her family.

"I honestly thought I was going to die that day," she said.

She said after she paid for her drinks one evening a few weeks back, a very aggressive cashier followed her outside.

"He instantly grabbed my soda off the counter, didn't even give me a chance to grab it," the victim said.

When they got to her car, the woman said 39-year-old James Travis pulled out a gun.

"He had his backpack and his gun that he kept claiming to be his glock, pointed at me the whole time," she recalled.

Prosecutors said it was an airsoft gun, but the victim didn't know that. She said Travis told her he was a KCK police officer.

"I did not believe that for one second. He didn't have a badge. He didn't show me a badge at all," she said.

Travis went back inside the store and the victim left, but police said Travis was later spotted in her neighborhood.

"There he was two houses down from our old house," she said.

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said the victim and her husband did the right thing by reporting Travis.

"They had questions, they went with their instincts. I tell people so many times go with your gut. Those senses, they do mean something," Howe said.

Prosecutors said they take false impersonation cases very seriously.

"It's really unfortunate that people do things like that, because it besmirches the reputation of all the good law enforcement officers out there protecting the community," Howe said.

While the victim said she feels safe now and reassured since Travis is locked up, the victim said she wants to see him pay the price.

"I don't think anybody wants to see people like that on the street. With everything going on right now with the police and shootings and stuff, I think that's a serious crime and I think that he should have to face full responsibility for what he did to me," she said.

Dollar General's corporate office confirmed Friday that Travis is no longer an employee. A media spokesperson said in a written statement:

"The suspect is not a Dollar General employee. Dollar General certainly strives to provide utmost customer service and a welcoming environment for our customers during their shopping visits to our stores."

The woman also said that while they strive for high customer service, there is no policy about carrying out customers' bags.

Travis is due back in court Thursday, September 15. He's facing one aggravated assault charge and one false impersonation charge. If convicted of both crimes, Travis could face a fine and up to two years behind bars.