Good Samaritan helps family, stops carjacking suspect

- A Good Samaritan who witnessed a carjacking in Fort Worth took matters into his own hands by shooting the suspect.

The crime happened around 7 a.m. at a gas station in the 3900 block of East Lancaster Avenue. Police said an armed man walked up to Joanna Avalos in the parking lot and demanded her vehicle with her two young kids inside.

"He pulled out the gun and said, ‘Get out of your car! I'm taking your car!’” Joanna recalled.

Joanna had her 11-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son in the black Tahoe with her.

Her son, Edwin, saw the man pull the gun.

"It was like a cowboy gun with the spinning wheel,” the young boy said. “A revolver."

Joanna says the criminal fumbled with the keys. When he couldn't get the SUV started, he ran after her.

"He pulled me and threw me on the floor and said, ‘Give me the [expletive] keys!’ Pointed the gun at me. I'm like, ‘There's two sets of keys!’” she recalled.

Security video is grainy, but it shows two children and their mother running into a convenience store after being chased by a man with a gun. The children were already inside when a clerk pulled their mother to safety.

"I saw my mom on her knees and her hands on the floor inside the store,” recalled 11-year-old Jamileth. “They locked the door and I just heard gunshots."

Avalos says another clerk ran after the carjacker with a gun and shot him after the robber fired at him. Police say the suspect, Courtney Johnson, led officers on a short chase in the stolen SUV before crashing into a couple of parked cars. He had gunshot wounds to his arm and abdomen when he was arrested.

The Avalos are back together as a family thanks to the actions of a lot of people who stepped in help. As for the SUV, they're ok if they don't get it back.

"No, it's too traumatic for them having to experience that in that car,” Joanna said. “I just don't think right now would be a good time to keep that car."

Johnson was arrested and taken to the hospital in fair condition. The investigation is ongoing.

 

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