Authorities asked the public Friday for help in identifying a would-be thief who shot a woman in the back after he made a failed attempt to rob her in a North Park alley.

The 62-year-old victim had just put her mother into a vehicle in the access road off the 4000 block of Ohio Street when the assailant pulled up next to them in a white SUV about 1:30 p.m. Thursday, according to San Diego police.

The driver, who had a female passenger with him, asked the victim to provide him with some directions, which she did, Lt. Andra Brown said. He then got out, threatened her with a pistol and demanded her purse.

The victim responded by running off, and the man opened fire, Brown said. He then got back into his vehicle and fled to the north, toward Polk Avenue.

Medics took the victim, whose name was withheld, to Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest. She was expected to survive.

The victim described the shooter as a heavyset Latino in his 30s or early 40s with short dark-brown hair. He was driving an older-model vehicle similar to a Chevrolet TrailBlazer or Toyota 4Runner with a dark interior and a California license-plate number including the character sequence 5HZ.

Anyone with information about the case was asked to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477, or contact the agency online at Tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

— City News Service