MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A trip to the High James Food Mart in Raleigh turned into a real-life course of survival when she was confronted by two armed men.
“My degree is in criminolgy and criminal justice,” said the victim in a phone call with WREG’s Jerrita Patterson.
She said she never thought she would put into use what she has studied on a quick trip to the store.
“It was quick thinking flight or fight. I tried to flee, but I couldn’t successfully so the only thing left to do was to fight.”
Around midnight Thursday, the victim was getting into her car when she said she was ambushed by two armed men.
“I heard a bang on my window and a gun in my face,” she said.
But what the alleged carjackers, Elijah Ervin and Dion Vanhook, did not see was the victim grabbing her own gun. Unable to get back inside the store she described the pair as firing several rounds. She fired back in self defense.
“After I fired six rounds, I started running behind the store. Well, actually I started banging on the door again but he wouldn’t let me in, so I started to run behind the store,” she said.
Hours later and a few miles away, the violent crimes unit located the stolen Nissan. As it turns out, the car was equipped with a tracker.
Getting ready to haul the car away, officers said they spotted three men walking in the area and decide to question them after seeing one of them put something underneath a dumpster. They later discovered it was a .357 Magnum handgun.
Detectives said Vanhook later confessed. They even reportedly found the key to the stolen vehicle in his pocket.
In addition to attempted second – degree murder, both Ervin and Vanhook are facing firearms and carjacking charges. Bond for each man was set at $90,000.
As for the third man seen with Ervin and Vanhook, he was also arrested on unrelated charges.