7-Year-Old Girl Saves Sister After Grandfather Was Carjacked on the Way Home From Day Care

A community in Nashville, Tennessee, is lauding one 7-year-old girl as a hero after she saved both herself and her younger sister from being kidnapped. The girl grabbed her younger sister and jumped from the car after it was carjacked from her grandfather.

The grandfather had just picked up the two children from day care. Though the accused carjacker was later apprehended, this little girl’s efforts certainly kept a bad situation from turning into something much worse, for all involved.

Elijah Malik McDowell had evaded police after allegedly already stealing a car.

Elijah Malik McDowell, who was on probation from Rutherford County, had dodged police after allegedly carjacking a car from a 35-year-old victim at gunpoint, a media release from the Metro Nashville Police Department stated. When a spike strip deflated the tires of that vehicle, he abandoned it.

Eventually, McDowell allegedly went looking for another car to steal. He headed to a residential area where he ran into Luis Mena. Mena was driving a truck with his two granddaughters, Stephanie, 3, and Amy, 7, in tow.

McDowell and Luis Mena, the girls’ grandfather, started tussling.
“We started fighting,” Mena told WSMV. McDowell, who was wearing a ski mask, opened the driver’s side door and tried to force Mena out of it.

“But my T-shirt got all broken. He grabbed me from my T-shirt and threw me to the ground,” he continued.

When the grandfather hit the ground, he lost consciousness. McDowell reportedly took off in the truck with Stephanie and Amy still in the back seat.

‘She jumped from the truck and she pulled her sister out of the truck,’ Mena said of older granddaughter Amy.
“What made me conscious again was when one of my little kids cried,” Mena said, according to WSMV. “That was my biggest worry – not only my truck getting stolen, but with my girls in it.”

Thankfully, the cries were coming from outside the stolen car. Amy and Stephanie had managed to leave the vehicle before McDowell drove off in it.

“She jumped from the truck and she pulled her sister out of the truck so they could escape and be safe,” Mena said recounting his granddaughter’s actions. “The materialistic things come and go. But my girls don’t,” he added.

Police later used a canine to track down McDowell in the woods.
Police eventually found the stolen truck. McDowell reportedly left it and ran into the woods. Later, a police canine team apprehended McDowell. He was taken to the hospital and treated for dog bites to his foot.

The following day, McDowell was charged with two counts of carjacking, two counts of felony evading arrest, gun use during the commission of a violent felony, possessing a “Glock switch” that makes a gun fully automatic, unlawful gun possession by a convicted felon, aggravated assault for driving at the two children, reckless driving, resisting arrest, and driving on a revoked license, according to a media release from the police department. His bond was set at $211,000.