On Friday afternoon, Meriden police honored a 12-year-old girl for her courageous acts demonstrated during an armed robbery.

Leslie Meza Ruiz was in her family's convenience store when a gun and knife-wielding robbers tried to rob her.

Her little sister was with her at the time when the man went up to her to try to steal a cash register.

Ruiz jumped on the back of the man holding the gun who tried to steal the cash register.

"I didn't even know, it just happened so fast. I just did what I had to do," said Ruiz.

The 7th grader at Lincoln fits right in with the officers she embraces. She might not have the training, badge, or gun, but on July 24, she displayed their bravery.

Police said Ruiz's family store on West Main Street was targeted by Angel Rodriguez and Keisha Garcia-Hernandez.

Meriden police said Rodriguez was armed with a gun and Hernandez had a knife. Instead of surrendering in the face of danger, Ruiz defended the family store, but more importantly, her mother.

"I just felt like I should do something so I could protect my mom and grandma," said Ruiz.

The surveillance video shows Ruiz trying to reason with the suspect.

Hernandez started slashing at the victims. Ruiz's mom and grandmother were wounded.

"Very scary, it was awful. I also just felt really bad for them so I just wanted to defend them," Ruiz said.

Ruiz was honored by the city and officers on Friday afternoon.

In addition to the awards, she received free dance lessons, a spa day, and a family membership to the YMCA.

Looking back, Ruiz says she doesn't regret a thing.

When asked what Ruiz wanted to be when she grew up, she confidently said, "president."

Police said the two suspects were later apprehended in Hartford.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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