Illinois Sen. Kimberly Lightford's Carjacking Terror—'I Begged Them Not to Shoot Us'

Illinois state Sen. Kimberly Lightford said she feared for her life and begged suspects not to shoot when she and her husband Eric McKennie were carjacked earlier this week. The incident ended in a shootout between McKennie and the carjackers.

Three masked individuals in a Dodge Durango SUV hijacked Lightford's Mercedes SUV in the 2000 block of South 20th Avenue in the Chicago suburb of Broadview about 9:45 p.m on Tuesday, said Broadview police Chief Thomas Mills. Lightford and her husband, Eric McKennie, had been in the suburb to drop off a friend, the Chicago Tribune reported.

McKennie had a gun and exchanged fire with at least one of the suspects, Mills said. McKennie has a concealed carry license. No one was hurt during the incident. The masked suspects drove off in the Mercedes and the Durango, but the Mercedes has since been recovered.

Lightford, a Democrat who is the Illinois Senate's majority leader, has recalled her terror as she and her husband were forced out of their vehicle.

"Three guys just hopped out with guns and they demanded that we get out of the car and they put my husband on the ground," she said, according to ABC7.

"They had me over on the other side. I begged them not to shoot us and I begged them not to shoot my husband and not to shoot me."

Lightford said her husband told her to run while he exchanged gunfire with the suspects.

"I thought for sure they were gonna shoot me down. It was a lot of shots being fired. I think they were shooting at my husband and me and luckily enough my husband is concealed carry and he was able to protect us."

Lightford said she doesn't believe she was targeted and that the carjacking was random. Her office and the Broadview Police Department have been contacted for additional comment.

The incident comes as another Democrat lawmaker, Pennsylvania Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, pushes for "common sense" gun laws to be passed after she was carjacked at gunpoint in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

"What happened yesterday was traumatic, but I refuse to let it dampen my love for the city of Philadelphia or the gem that is FDR Park," the congresswoman said in a statement.

"The fact is, this type of crime can happen anywhere and to anyone—yesterday it happened to me. Sadly, we know that over the course of the last year or two, since the onset of the pandemic, we have seen a spike in certain crimes across the country, including gun violence and carjacking. No one should have to experience this kind of lawlessness, and I will continue to push for resources and policies that help reduce violence in our communities."

Illinois Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford
Illinois Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, during a debate on the floor of the Illinois Senate at the Illinois state Capitol, Thursday, May 21, 2020, in Springfield, Illinois. Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP, Pool