Nearly two weeks after a horrific carjacking in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood, the victim opened up to NBC 5 about the terrifying incident.
The victim, who asked that her named not be shared in fear of possible retaliation, said the carjacking happened when she pulled up to her friend's place and started pulling bags out of her trunk.
"Literally before I could pull out the bag...somebody was behind me asking me to turn around and give them my car key," she recounted. "When I turned around, I saw the gun pointed at me... And I was like 'oh crap this is real.'"
As police suggested, she gave the person what he wanted: her keys and phone. Police confirmed that a suspect was arrested and charged with vehicular hijacking and aggravated use of a firearm in connection with the incident.
While the victim's vehicle was totaled in a fiery crash following the carjacking, her spirits remained remarkably high.
"I didn’t spend Christmas in the hospital, got to be with family," she said. "No nice car. But I still have family and friends."
With several more carjackings reported by Chicago police Monday, the victim expressed concern for other victims.
"The worst feeling, I felt helpless, because I literally watched somebody take the car I worked so hard for... just got the car," she said.
In a community alert about the recent incidents, Chicago police offered the following suggestions to residents:
- Always be aware of your surroundings
- Report suspicious activity immediately
- If you are confronted by an assailant remain calm
- Remember any unique physical characteristics (scars, limp, acne, teeth, etc...)
- Never pursue a fleeing assailant, provide the information to the police
- If video surveillance equipment is present, please save a copy of the incident for investigating detectives
- If approached by a witness to the incident, request contact information
- Dial 9-1-1 immediately and remain on scene when possible
- Do NOT leave keys in your vehicle with the vehicle running