Man carjacked at Shawnee Hy-Vee grateful to be alive

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SHAWNEE, Kan. -- No more late night trips to the neighborhood grocery store for a Shawnee man. His stop Wednesday night ended in being robbed and carjacked at gunpoint.

The 64-year-old victim, who asked not to be identified, was shopping at Hy-Vee on 63rd street near Pflumm. He said he put his groceries in his car and was returning the cart when he saw two young men looking and yelling in his direction. At first, he thought they wanted a ride somewhere. He quickly realized they wanted much more.

"When they got to the car they became more animated and aggressive, then said, 'give us your wallet, give us your cell phone, and your keys,'" the victim recalled.

It was then he realized one of them had a gun. He handed everything over but wasn't prepared for what they wanted next.

"They ordered me to get in the back backseat of my car and I just determined that did not make sense. It was not going to turn out well," he said.

So the Shawnee resident of more than 30 years turned around and walked away. He had no idea what was going to happen, but knew in his gut it was far better than if he got into the car.

The suspects sped away in his car. When he made it back into the store, he screamed for help. Hy-Vee employees called 9-1-1 and the victim gave dispatchers a description of his car and it wasn't too long before an officer on patrol spotted it.

A Shawnee Police Department spokesperson said the officer tried to pull the car over, but the suspects sped off. A short time later, while searching the area, the officer found the victim's car in pieces.

The suspects apparently lost control and rolled the car several times. They were injured and trapped inside. Despite being robbed at gunpoint, the victim held no ill will.

"I'm glad they were not killed. I would hate to see their lives cut short when they made a wrong decision," he said.

He is hopeful they will be punished through the courts. Both suspects are 17. After they were released from the hospital, they were arrested and charged. In Kansas, they are considered juveniles and no information will be released unless they are certified as adults.

As for the victim, he's doing better, but says late night trips to the store are done.

"I got through it and feel very grateful and blessed that it wasn't a worse situation," he said.