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Ramona girl home safe after attempted kidnapping in Texas; grandma fatally shot

RAMONA - A 12-year-old Ramona girl was home safe today thanks to her grandmother who gave her life when she stood up to an armed kidnapper who was pulling the eighth-grader into his truck at a Texas gas station.

Cassidy Blankenbaker and her older brother had just arrived in Amarillo, Texas, for their annual summer visit with their grandparents when the tragedy occurred last week, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

The family had stopped at a truckstop for a bathroom break when an overweight man in a cowboy hat and boots jumped out of his pickup truck and grabbed Cassidy by the wrist, ordering her at gunpoint to get into his truck, according to the newspaper.

As 63-year-old Sharrel Blankenbaker put herself between her granddaughter and the man and yelled, she was shot in the lung by the kidnapper, according to the newspaper.

''I think she'd have done that for anyone,'' Cassidy told the newspaper. ''She was just that kind of person.''

Cassidy broke free in the chaos and ran but was chased by the kidnapper, who eventually gave up after Cassidy's older brother hid her, the Union-Tribune reported.

Immediately after giving up on Cassidy, the man snatched another young girl in the area and was pulled over a short time later by local law enforcement, who shot him dead. He was identified as Gary Don Carner, 58,

according to the Union-Tribune.

The girl he snatched after Cassidy was not hurt.

Earlier in the night, Carner apparently failed in attempts to kidnap two women.


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