Neighbor helps parents whose car was stolen with kids in backseat

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Police say a family was just trying to put groceries in their home when they were carjacked at gunpoint. The thief took off with their two children in the backseat.

“They were frantic. It was unbelievable. It was the worst thing I’ve ever seen,” said witness Maria Rodriguez. “The man [father] jumped on the car right there and started banging, ‘Call the police, my kids’ So, I went to the sidewalk right there and I yelled to him, ‘What happened?’ He said, ‘they stole my car with my kids in the car.’”

Rodriguez says the man put the gun to the mother’s back, she heard the truck take off, and spotted the father in trouble. She called 911 and got in her car to help.

“So I pick up the father, I pick up the mother, and we just started driving straight down Campfield and I’m on the phone with 911 just telling them, ‘what do I do?,’” said Rodriguez.

Police say the carjacker with gunshots to his chest and back was driving with the children in the car. He was shot along with two other men over drugs a couple of streets over.

“We have significant evidence to lend us to believe that there was a shooting event at Gilman Street,” said Hartford Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley.

ORIGINAL STORY: Police: Truck with 2 children inside carjacked in Hartford

Foley says the two other men were dropped off by a minivan. The man in the family’s pickup truck dropped himself off, leaving the three- and eight-year-olds in the backseat.

“The children were found unharmed in the parking lot of the hospital and reunited with the family,” said Foley.

Foley says they’re not identifying the injured men, but all three have an extensive criminal history with the police department. Rodriguez is just grateful she was able to help when she saw the father and mother panicking.

“I just held her. I hugged her and consoled her and told her everything was going to be okay,” said Rodriguez. “They just kept saying thank you.”

The carjacker is in critical condition at the hospital. The two other men who were shot have been treated and released. 

Police say no arrests have been made, but they do plan on making some in this case.

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