A 7 year old girl from Nashville displayed immense courage and quick thinking, ultimately saving her younger sister’s life during a harrowing carjacking incident involving their grandfather. The ordeal unfolded when their grandfather had just picked them up from daycare, and a man attempted to steal their vehicle.
The distressing incident began in the vicinity of the 800 block of Murfreesboro Pike. Authorities identified the suspect as Elijah McDowell, who, at gunpoint, forcibly seized a car and subsequently drove it onto I-440, resulting in a collision.
McDowell, after the crash, fled to a residential area, where Luis Mena, the grandfather, was in the process of collecting his two granddaughters, 7-year-old Amy and 3-year-old Stephanie, from their daycare on Lyle Lane. According to Metro Nashville police, McDowell, still donning a ski mask, made a second carjacking attempt on the same day.
Describing the terrifying encounter, Luis Mena recounted how McDowell approached his pickup truck with his two young granddaughters seated in the back. At that moment, McDowell forcefully opened the vehicle’s door and demanded that Mena exit the truck.
Mena, in his own words, shared the ordeal, saying, “We started fighting, but my T-shirt got all broken. He grabbed me from my T-shirt and threw me to the ground.” Mena, in the struggle, lost consciousness as McDowell sped away in the stolen truck. His paramount concern was the well-being of his precious granddaughters.
Mena, regaining consciousness due to the cry of one of his little girls, came to realize that his eldest granddaughter, Amy, had acted heroically. He recounted the moment, saying, “What made me conscious again was when one of my little kids cried. That was my biggest worry – not only my truck getting stolen, but with my girls in it.” Amy had, in a display of extraordinary courage, leaped from the moving truck and rescued her younger sister to ensure their safety.
As the family now looks forward to the challenges of moving into a new residence, Mena expressed his gratitude for Amy’s intelligence and bravery. He emphasized the fleeting nature of material possessions, stating, “The materialistic things come and go, but my girls don’t.”
Police records reveal that McDowell has a history of violent felony convictions, including aggravated assault and narcotics charges in Rutherford County, underlining the dangers associated with this incident.