Police Kill Man Who Kidnapped Girl, Shot at Freeway Motorists
Oct. 04, 1996
YONCALLA, Ore. (AP) _ A man kidnapped a 7-year-old girl and took her through 100 miles of sheer terror Thursday, holding a gun to her head and shooting at motorists before he was killed by a police sharpshooter.
Kristina Jacobsen, abducted 3 1/2 hours earlier from her babysitter's house in Salem, suffered minor injuries. The gunman was not immediately identified. Two people in separate vehicles were injured by gunfire as the man sped south on Interstate 5.
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's head, until a sharpshooter killed him with one shot to the head.
Christina, who had asked for Skittles candy during the standoff, ran from the car as police closed in.
``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.''
The man came to Chantiell Thomas' home, where she was babysitting Christina and three other children, around 8:30 a.m. pretending to be looking for a dog, Salem police Lt. Roger Vinyard said.
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 with a telescopic sight.
The girl was immediately taken to the hospital, and her mother was being flown in from Salem.