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Police Kill Man Who Kidnapped Girl, Shot at Freeway Motorists

October 4, 1996

YONCALLA, Ore. (AP) _ A man kidnapped a 7-year-old girl and took her through 100 miles of terror Thursday, holding a gun to her head and shooting at motorists before he was killed by a police sharpshooter.

Kristina Jacobson, abducted 3 1/2 hours earlier from her baby sitter’s house in Salem, ran from the car as police closed in. Police identified the gunman as Lance Sterling Alexander, 25, of Salem. He had two convictions for misdemeanor assault, according to court records.

``He had this little silver gun he put up on my head,″ Kristina told The Associated Press. ``He said if I don’t behave, he will put me in the trunk or shoot me.″

``I was crying and asking him lots of questions. `Where are you going to drop me off? When are you going to drop me off?″

The chase ended after the blue Pontiac the man stole ran over spikes set by police, veered into the median and eventually flipped over. The man negotiated with police for about an hour while sitting in the overturned car and holding a gun to the girl, until a sharpshooter killed him with one shot to the head.

``They could see that the gun was to the child’s head,″ said Lt. Gregg Hastings. ``They were believing the child was going to end up being shot by this person.″

Kristina, who had requested police bring her Skittles during the negotiations, happily ate the candy as she recovered in a hospital with only a few metal fragments in her knee from the crash.

She said she was grateful to the sharpshooter.

``I wish he would come in the room so I can thank him,″ she said.

She said she managed to put a seat belt on, just as her mother taught her, even though her hands were taped.

``I have to, just in case we get in a crash and that’s what happened,″ she said.

Kristina said she used her Bambi book to smash a window and escape because she didn’t want the kidnapper’s blood to get on her sun dress.

``She’s obviously stronger than me,″ said her mother, Shanna Jacobson.

The ordeal began Thursday morning when the man showed up at the home of Kristina’s baby sitter, pretending to be looking for a dog, Salem police Lt. Roger Vinyard said.

Baby sitter Chantiell Thomas, 25, opened the door and the man barged in. He hit Thomas and took the girl, leaving three other children behind, Vinyard said.

The man stole Thomas’ car and headed south at speeds up to 110 mph, pursued by Oregon State Police cars and an airplane. He shot at several vehicles, hitting a 20-year-old woman in the neck and injuring a 7-month-old girl cut by glass fragments. Both were treated and released.

Truck driver Robert McAerin saw the driver point a gun at him. He heard a pop as a bullet hit the truck cab at head level.

``Another 6 inches forward and I would have been going out of here in a gurney,″ McAerin said.

The car passed over a spike strip near Yoncalla, about 40 miles south of Eugene, and continued for five miles before overturning.

While negotiating with the man, police brought him a cell phone, police radio and a couple of packs of cigarettes.

The man had just demanded another car and threatened to shoot the girl when a sharpshooter killed the man from 150 feet away using high-powered bolt-action rifle.

Update hourly