Man shoots carjacker; saves neighbor

Posted: Updated:
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- Neighbors jump into action to help a woman who was being carjacked in her driveway.

It happened around 3:30 Friday afternoon in a neighborhood near 21st Avenue and Clarendon, when a woman in her 60s pulled into her driveway in her SUV. She was in the driver’s seat when the suspect came up to the driver’s door and asked to use her phone.

She said no, and explained she didn’t know him. Police say he then pulled her out of the car, threw her to the ground and got in the vehicle.

The man and woman who live next door saw the suspect walking up to their neighbor and thought something was wrong.  The woman went up to the vehicle and opened the passenger’s door.

Police say the suspect started to drive away, and the vehicle struck the woman and knocked her to the ground, causing her to receive a head injury.

After seeing his wife knocked to the ground, police say her husband fired several shots at the suspect in the vehicle from a handgun he had gotten from inside his house. The suspect fled the area in the vehicle.

The neighbor woman was transported and hospitalized for a head injury she received when she fell after being struck by the vehicle. Her injury is believed to be non life-threatening.
A short time after the suspect stole the vehicle and fled, police received a call of a single vehicle collision in the area of 24th Street and Thomas.  The suspect ran off the roadway in the vehicle and struck a fixed object.

The responding officers discovered it was the stolen vehicle and that the driver was the suspect. Police say he had suffered a gunshot wound.

He was transported to a local hospital, but later died of his injuries.  He has been identified, but the next of kin has not been notified.  It will require an autopsy to determine the actual cause of death.

The investigation will be submitted to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for review.  No charges are expected to be filed, pending that review.

Belen Gonzalez said she lives next door to the woman who was carjacked. "I believe it's a person who passed through the neighborhood and saw that my neighbor is older and took advantage of that," said Gonzalez.