Carjacking is a common occurrence in American cities, both large and small. Often those trying to acquire a vehicle by force are armed and quite dangerous.
Yet when that force is met with equal force, the odds even out quickly. Here are six examples of armed citizens using firearms to protect themselves from carjackers.
A Right-to-Carry permit holder was in a grocery store parking lot in Orem, Utah, when he heard a woman screaming nearby. The woman had been pulled from her vehicle by a carjacker. The permit holder rushed to help and confronted the criminal. As the thief was lunging at him, the permit holder shot and killed the attacker. An investigation revealed that the deceased carjacker was sought in connection with another car theft earlier that day. When asked whether the permit holder could face charges, Orem Police Captain Ned Jackson told reporters, “He’s trying to assist this lady whose car is being stolen. He was fighting with her, he was trying to protect her. Then at the point the suspect comes to him and he’s trying to take the gun from him, then he’s trying to protect himself.” (KSL, Salt Lake City, Utah, 5/2/15)
Witnesses say a man with a handgun thwarted a carjacking in Clay County, Ind. The 31-year-old suspect tried to enter and steal three occupied vehicles in a commercial area near Terre Haute. In the first case, the driver locked her passenger door before the man could open it. A second would-be victim had children in her minivan, so the suspect closed the door and moved to a third vehicle. After the suspect slipped his hand through a window, the Right-to-Carry permit holder inside that vehicle produced a handgun, telling the suspect to stop or he would shoot. The carjacker fled to a hotel where he was arrested six minutes later. The county sheriff’s department said the suspect told authorities he was high on methamphetamine and had been desperate for a ride to Indianapolis. (Tribune Star, Terre Haute, Ind., 2/10/15)
Victoria Davison was approached by two teenagers. One teen demanded, “I want the keys, car, everything.” When Davison hesitated to comply with the carjackers, one of them indicated they had a gun. That is when Davison pulled her own firearm out of her gym bag and fired. One assailant suffered a single gunshot wound and fell to the ground, while the second assailant fled on foot. Both were later apprehended and face charges of armed robbery and theft. The two suspects were reportedly connected to a recent string of robberies and carjacking, one of which resulted in the shooting of a 43-year-old man. Davison was not injured during the incident. (The Daily Caller, Milwaukee, Wis., 7/15/14)
A resident of Henrico County, Va., traveled to a housing complex to look at a car that had been listed for sale. When the resident arrived, he was met by a pair of men who robbed him of his car keys and cash at gunpoint. But before the thieves were able to make off with his car, the resident was able to retrieve a shotgun from his vehicle and force the criminals to flee. (WTVR, Richmond, Va., 1/11/14)
David Whitney received a call from an alert neighbor informing him of an unknown vehicle parked in his driveway. He quickly returned home and discovered a carjacker sitting in his truck while a second man sat in the suspects’ own vehicle. Whitney drew a handgun and attempted to detain the suspects. The suspect in Whitney’s truck, however, jumped out and rejoined his accomplice. That’s when the suspects went from being carjackers to something even more dastardly: They drove straight at Whitney in an attempt to run him over. Whitney fired several shots into the vehicle, disabling it. The shaken suspects were immediately compliant and waited for police to arrive. (Grant County Journal, Ephrata, Wash., 9/22/11)
A man was driving his truck with the windows down through Wilmington, N.C., when a pair of robbers approached him while the vehicle was stopped. One of the thieves grabbed the driver’s arm, pointed a gun at him and said, “Give me your truck.” The driver responded by retrieving a pistol and pointing it at the carjackers, causing them to flee. (WECT, Wilmington, N.C., 9/5/13)