A District woman fended off an armed carjacker recently after challenging the suspect to shoot her.
A neighbor’s home surveillance video showed Iris Bond Gill, who runs her own consulting firm and is an 18-year resident of Northeast, being confronted by the suspect around 3 p.m. on Tuesday near her home.
The video was first published Wednesday by D.C. community blog PoPville.
Ms. Bond Gill was initially startled by the ski-mask wearing suspect, who came up from behind her and demanded her belongings. She told The Washington Times in an interview that the suspect had threatened her by saying, “I’m gonna shoot you, b——.”
She said he was concealing a firearm underneath his hoodie and was demanding her car keys.
But Ms. Bond Gill quickly gathered herself, she said, walked toward the suspect and repeatedly told him to “shoot me.”
“It’s a dangerous situation,” Ms. Bond Gill said. “And I think in those moments, it’s probably much more ‘fight or flight’ than being logical.”
She said the suspect appeared shocked by her moxie and slowly backed away, almost out of view of the camera.
Ms. Bond Gill said the suspect then flashed the gun and approached her again, this time more directly asking for the keys. Ms. Bond Gill didn’t budge.
“I tend to think that … you match people’s energy [and] what they bring you,” she said. “It tends to work out that if people are nice and kind of sweet, I’m totally that way back. And if they’re not, then I try to meet them there. And that’s basically what I did. He came up really strong, and I came on strong back.”
Police came shortly after Ms. Bond Gill called in about the incident. Responding officers told her it was the fourth attempted armed carjacking that day in her neighborhood, around NoMa and the H Street corridor.
Carjackings are up 28% year-to-date throughout the District, according to the Metropolitan Police Department’s data. Armed carjackings are up 35% year-to-date citywide and make up nearly three quarters (73%) of carjackings in the District in that same time frame.
Ms. Bond Gill said she is still dealing with the trauma of the experience, as well as how alone she felt throughout the incident. She wondered where the bicycle police were patrolling the area, or the “community policing” that came from just having people out and about on the block.
“Twenty years ago … elderly neighbors would sit on the porch for many hours a day — and would wave you in when you parked your car and were coming home from work — and that doesn’t exist anymore,” she said.
Ms. Bond Gill also said that the neighbor who submitted the home surveillance footage to PoPville never reached out to her. She has even knocked on their door, but has yet to make contact with them.
“It’s a much more isolating place, given the transitions happening in D.C., I think for many of us who have been here,” she said.
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