Carjacking arrest: grandmother and 7-year-old held at gunpoint

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A grandmother and her 7-year-old granddaughter were the latest victims of a Memphis carjacking.

According to police 18-year-old, Tkai Gardner carjacked the two victims Thursday at the Extended Stay America on Quail Hollow Road.

The affidavit reads that someone asked the woman to use her cellphone when another individual put a gun to her head, also pointing a gun at the child, demanding she gets out of the car.

Richard Tucker said he’s lived at the extended stay lodge for the past six months and told us he’s not shocked by the chain of events.

“I’m not surprised that it happened here because it’s happening everywhere,” Tucker said.

Many in the area, including Tucker, described the surrounding community as a nice place to live, but Tucker also acknowledged that crime can happen anywhere.

“It doesn’t matter what your zip code is, what your economic situation is, they’re coming to steal what you’ve got,” Tucker said.

FOX13 learned the Memphis Police Department is investigating following the Sep. 9 incident that happened in the motel parking lot.

The report said Gardner took off in the woman’s 2014 Honda CR-V.

“It’s very sad to hear that. In this day and age, crime has dramatically increased all over, so it’s not surprising,” Tucker said.

Based on Memphis Police stats and data, no other carjackings have been reported within a quarter-mile radius of the extended stay in the past 6-months

RELATED: Carjackers point gun at woman, 7-year-old grandaughter during car theft, records show

FOX13 only learned of a vehicle theft in the same block and a separate one that happened back in October on Massey Road, which intersects at Quail Hollow.

A bigger picture across Bluff City shows carjackings and vehicle thefts spike up tremendously when viewing Memphis as a whole.

One location alone reports 556 vehicle thefts in the same half-year period.

This number includes areas surrounding the Hollywood, Annesdale Park, and Cooper-Young communities.

Data shows carjackings spike up to 74 in the surrounding East Memphis, Oakville, and Whitehaven areas.

In March, FOX13 Investigates, Dakarai Turner, examined the number of carjackings across Bluff City.

The report revealed that many carjackings are committed by the same suspects.

“A lot of the carjackers are repeat offenders and I do think we are seeing a younger trend,” said Christopher Herman, Crime Analyst and Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

In that same report, Memphis Police also weighed in on the problem.

“We do see repeat offenders on the adult and juvenile side,” said Lieutenant Jimmy Lewis.

FOX13 also checked into Gardner’s criminal history, finding the 18-year-old is not a repeat carjacking offender, based on current Shelby County records.

The suspect is scheduled for a Feb. 13 arraignment, facing several charges including carjacking, aggravated robbery, and evading arrest.