On Thursday October 24, Sharlonda Buckman had her 2011 Chevrolet Traverse stolen right out from under her when she stopped to buy some aspirin at a BP gas station in the 10700 block of East Jefferson Avenue in Detroit. Buckman, who is CEO of Detroit Parent Network, told police that an armed man forced her from her vehicle before she could get her door closed, and that the carjacker had a gun. The incident took place at about 8 a.m. according to a news article at The Detroit News.
Buckman’s SUV was taken; three men who were at the BP station witnessed the altercation, and came to the victim’s aid. News reports say that one of the men had a licensed firearm and shot at the suspect as he chased the unknown man while driving a 2009 blue Ford Focus.
Eventually the suspect drove the victim’s SUV through a barrier at a waterfront dock a few blocks away, jumping from the vehicle before it plunged into the Detroit River. The suspect took cover in nearby brush, and shot the good Samaritan after he exited his Ford Focus to see if the suspect was still inside the sinking SUV. After exchanging gunfire with the suspect, he suffered a gunshot wound which was described as nonfatal, and was hospitalized in temporarily serious condition.
Back at the BP station, another of the three men who came to Buckman’s rescue flagged down a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
The suspect was not apprehended as of last news reports, and may have been shot in the exchange of gunfire according to police. He escaped in the good Samaritan’s Ford Focus; police believe an accomplice may have been involved. The suspect is described as a black man in his 30s with a goatee, last seen wearing dark pants, a gray vest and blue hoodie.
Buckman had just taken her 12-year-old son to school, and said, “Thank God my son was not in the car with me.”
While it is unknown if the suspect has been found by authorities, he will no doubt face serious criminal charges when apprehended. In Michigan, carjacking is a life offense. This means that if convicted, the suspect in this case could potentially face life behind bars. He may also face additional charges for seriously wounding the good Samaritan in the shootout that erupted between the two.
Prosecutors must prove certain elements in order for an individual to be found guilty of carjacking. Anyone who has been arrested or charged with this serious criminal offense must obtain the support of a seasoned Michigan criminal defense attorney at once, as having capable legal guidance in the first few critical hours following an arrest is key to the outcome.