MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis mom says a group of armed carjackers threatened to kill her 3-year-old daughter if she didn’t give up her Jaguar Friday night.
Donnii’ Watkins said she had just pulled into a parking spot at her sister’s apartment complex off Knight Arnold in Hickory Hill when she was ambushed by several men in ski masks who began beating on her SUV with guns and told her to get out of the vehicle.
“I wasn’t even in a parking spot for thirty seconds. My car wasn’t even in park yet,” said Watkins. “I was like, I’m not getting out of my vehicle.”
Watkins said the carjackers had already blocked her vehicle in with another car, and when she refused to give up her Jaguar, they turned their attention toward her daughter.
“I was trying to stay calm, and the guy that was on the passenger side grabbed the door open, and three of them were in the inside, and they were pointing the gun at my baby, and they were like, ‘If you don’t get out of the car, we’re going to kill your baby,'” Watkins said. “I was like, ‘Okay. I’ll leave everything. I just want my baby.'”
She said they told her to leave all her belongings inside her car, but she was able to slip her cell phone into her daughter’s coat when she was getting her out of the vehicle. Watkins said she really thought they were going to hurt her child.
“They grabbed her and put the gun up to her. She was like, ‘Mommy, I’m scared,'” she said.
The six carjackers got away with her purse, house keys, credit cards, and glasses. Watkins said they were later spotted joyriding in her SUV. She said the suspects were still wearing the masks and hanging out of the windows with guns.
Monday, Watkins learned from WREG that her Jaguar was recovered a day later in the 1500 block of East Dempster in South Memphis. Police said the vehicle did not appear to be damaged.
Watkins doesn’t have her vehicle back yet and said her daughter is still recovering from the ordeal.
“She has been emotional since it happened. At nighttime, she will say she is scared,” Watkins said.
The suspects wore white ski masks and arrived in a gold, older model Honda Accord. If you have any information that can help investigators find them, call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH.
According to the Memphis Data Hub, 296 carjackings have been reported in the Memphis area so far this year. That compares to 352 carjackings over the same period in 2022.