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Crime News

Boy, 9, Saves His 5-Year-Old Sister During Armed Carjacking, Police Say

A trip to a Moody, Alabama gas station could have turned tragic for one family, if not for the quick thinking of of young boy. 

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt
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A 9-year-old boy in Alabama is being hailed a hero after he courageously saved his little sister from an armed carjacking.

The boy’s mother was finishing up pumping gas at a fuel station in Moody on Thursday when a man later identified as 18-year-old Kendarian Toran got out of an SUV parked at the pump opposite her and got into the empty driver’s seat of her car, the Moody Police Department said. When the mother attempted to stop Toran, he allegedly pointed a gun at her; around the same time, her 9-year-old son got out of the driver’s side passenger seat and ran around the car to the other passenger’s side rear door, where his 5-year-old sister was sitting, and pulled her out of the car, according to police.

The child’s mother, identified by the Birmingham Real-Time News as Kristin Walker, told the outlet that she initially tried to stop what was happening by jumping on top of the alleged carjacker and trying to pull the keys out. At that point, he allegedly pulled out a gun and pointed it at Walker, who is currently pregnant; when she told him that her children were in the car, he responded, “Get them out.” Ethan jumped into action and got himself and his little sister out of the car, in what the Moody Police Department has described as an “incredible act of bravery and composure.”

Toran and his alleged accomplice, 23-year-old Eric White, fled the scene, police said in their release. Police were able to track down the two men, both residents of Jackson, Mississippi, using surveillance cameras and vehicle tag readers. Both were arrested by deputies with the Rankin County Sheriff’s Office, who intercepted the pair’s attempt to flee back to the Mississippi area. Police also recovered the SUV that Toran and White traveled to the Moody gas station in, and said that it had been stolen out of Jackson earlier that day.

Toran and White are expected to be charged with multiple felonies, including armed robbery and vehicle theft, the Moody Police Department said. Both men were in custody at the Rankin County Jail as of Friday, awaiting extradition, WLBT reports.

Following the terrifying incident, Walker and her children retreated into the gas station where they were able to call the police; 9-year-old Ethan was even able to give them a description of the suspects, she told the Birmingham Real-Time News.

“I’m just so thankful,” she said.

Chief Thomas Hunt of the Moody Police Department said Friday that he plans to formally recognize Ethan’s bravery at some point in the future.