CHICAGO (CBS) — A mother found herself stranded on the side of the road on the city’s Southwest Side with her three kids – and when help arrived, someone opened fire and shot the man who came to their aid.

As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported, the gunman shot and stole the car of the man who came to help – leaving the mother and children terrified by what they witnessed.

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It is unclear whether the children outside their mom’s Chevrolet near 64th Street and Cicero Avenue in the West Lawn neighborhood near Midway International Airport were aware of the apparent danger around them.

“They’ve got to be traumatized,” said neighbor Denise Collins. “They’re little kids.”

The children came within close range of gunshots.

Their mother got a flat tire in her black Chevrolet. She said she called someone to help change the tire.

Just before 6:30 p.m. after a 28-year-old man had finished changing the tire, another man came up on foot and tried to take the victim’s keys to his own car right out of his hand.

They got into a physical confrontation, and the assailant took out a handgun, but the victim knocked the gun out of the assailant’s hand, police said.

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The assailant picked up the gun and shot the victim in the head, police said. The assailant then drove off in the victim’s dark blue Nissan Altima.

This all happened right in front of the children.

“He parked here, had a ski mask, and ran up on him while he was putting the tire in the trunk,” Collins said of the assailant.

Neighbors said, after hearing the shots, they came out to see the man injured, the woman trying to help, and the three children looking on.

“It’s a sad world, and it’s scary,” Collins said. “I have three sons. I want them to stay in my yard constantly.”

As Chicago Police investigated, the focus centered around the man who was injured; and what, if anything, the children witnessed in yet another carjacking in the city.

Neighbors brought the children snacks and drinks in an attempt to distract them from all the commotion going on around them.

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Police said the suspect is about 6 feet 1 inch tall and was wearing dark clothing and a ski mask.