Guadalupe and Luis Paz were forced to act quickly when they spotted a toddler alone in a hot car in a Target parking lot during a heat wave that swept Southern California on Aug. 30.
After seeing movement in an unattended vehicle, Luis discovered a 2-year-old girl was inside and decided to break the window with his elbow. He called 911 after he observed signs of heat stroke.
The girl was left in the car during 106-degree weather and had a temperature of 103 degrees when she was rescued. The child's mother allegedly left her daughter unattended for 15 minutes with the windows slightly open while she ran into the store.
"In [the mother's] mindset, she was just going to run in and run back out of the store," Ontario Police Department Detective Melissa Ramirez said in an interview with NBC News. "She realized she made a poor decision when she saw officers on the scene."
The mother is now facing felony charges.
Thankfully for the little girl, the Pazes walked by in the nick of time. If the child was noticed any later, she may have not survived, according to local officials.