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carjacking

ST. LOUIS — Days after she and her 9-year-old son were carjacked at gunpoint, Amanda Jackson has a theory on the crime that has become almost a daily occurrence across the city.

“To be honest, the people just ain’t being raised right,” Jackson, 28, said. “I just think it’s a lack of family values. It’s sad but it’s true.”

Jackson is fed up, scared — and getting a gun.

“That’s what I’m working on now,” the single mother said Friday. “I have to protect me and my son at any cost. It’s a shame you have to walk around with a gun. That’s what we have come to.”

Neither Jackson nor her son was hurt in Tuesday morning’s carjacking, but they were shaken, she said.

“I was in fear of being shot,” she recalls.

Here is her account:

Jackson was sitting in her parked car about 6:15 a.m. Tuesday, in front of the south St. Louis apartment building she moved into about a week ago. It’s in the 3800 block of Minnesota Avenue, south of Chippewa Street.

Her son, a fourth grader, was inside their home, grabbing his school book bag. Jackson had the car running and was waiting on her son. She was alone in the car about five minutes. Then her son jumped into the front-passenger seat.

“As soon as he closes the door, they both approached with guns,” she said.

Two young men, one on each side of the car. Almost in unison, they pulled open the unlocked car doors.

“They put the guns up to our heads and told us to get out of the car and get on the ground,” Jackson said.

Her son started to cry.

Jackson got onto the ground but, at one point, hopped back up because she didn’t see her son and worried he was still in the car. A gunman ordered her to “get back down.”

Her son never got on the ground, it turns out. He was backing away from the gunmen, trying to get to his mother on the other side of the car.

The two gunmen drove away in her car, a silver 2016 Kia Optima. As it sped away on Chippewa, the car almost hit a Metro bus and two cars, she said. Inside the car were her cellphone and purse, which contained her ID and bank card.

She described one gunman as a black man, thin build, dark complexion with shoulder-length dreadlocks. She said he had blonde tips on the dreadlocks. He wore a black hooded sweatshirt and black pants. The other gunman was described in a similar way, except for the hair.

Police haven’t made any arrests or recovered the stolen car.

By Friday, Jackson still had no car. She has made arrangements with her aunt so her son is picked up each morning to get to his bus stop on time. Jackson had to scale back to part-time at her job in St. Peters so she could get a ride with a friend. She works as a nurse’s assistant.

Jackson said her son doesn’t talk much about the frightening ordeal but is getting help from a school counselor to cope with his experience. Jackson said she is going to get a gun and try to be more aware.

“Just be aware of your surroundings,” Jackson advised. “If somebody asks you to get out of the car, just get out. You never know what the person is thinking, what kind of mindset they have to jack your car.”

Carjackings are up in St. Louis this year, compared with last year.

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