My office is on Court Square in Charlottesville, right across Jefferson St. from the Albemarle County Courthouse. This morning, around 11 AM, I was in my law partner's office right above our front door, and I heard this strange shrieking, and tires barking. Then we heard someone shouting "Run run!" or "go! go!". I looked out the window in time to see a silver SUV peeling away down Jefferson St. toward McGuffey, and I saw a white dude wearing a bomber-type jacket with some colorful design on the back and blue jeans run off down Jefferson.
I ran downstairs and called 911, and was getting reports from my paralegal, who had seen most of what happened. Then I went out and talked to some of the witnesses on the street. Here is what I gather happened:
The would-be carjacker/robber was loitering in the BB&T branch for a while, and the management made him leave. I think they thought he was casing the place. Once outside, he approached the victim (who was parked in front of the bank on Jefferson), and pulled a gun out and stuck it through he open driver's window. She put her car in reverse, and backed up about 1/2 a block, in front of my office. The dude still had the gun, and was yelling while she was screaming and trying to get away. She eventually got the car in drive, and took off. He chased after he for a second and ran off.
There was one witness who was turning the corner from Jefferson onto 4th, heading toward the mall. Apparently (and this is hearsay, and unconfirmed), she stopped when she saw the initial confrontation between Mr. Carjacker/robber and called 911, and was on the phone narrating the unfolding events to the police. She may very well have been the person shouting to the victim to get out of there -- anyhow, she was pretty friggin' brave, just sitting there while all this was happening right in front of her.
As of about 1:30 PM, the cops had not located Mr. Carjacker/robber, but I understand from one of them that they know who he is and where he ordinarily hangs out. I hope they catch him -- we live pretty close to where he's apparently running around.
Take all this with a grain of salt--I am reporting hearsay, and what little I know personally. No way could I identify the guy.
Good times here on Court Square.
UPDATE: Hello, Cvillenews readers! Thanks for the link, Waldo.
Dude's name is Elvis Shifflett. It appears I was wrong about the motivation -- I thought he was trying to rob her based upon what I heard, but it looks like he was an acquaintance. Either way, it was pretty exciting.