State Sen. Kimberly Lightford recounts harrowing carjacking details: 'I begged them not to shoot us'

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Friday, December 24, 2021
Illinois State Sen. Kimberly Lightford recounts harrowing details of being carjacked with husband: 'I begged them not to shoot us'
Illinois State Senator Kimberly Lightford shares the details of the moment she and her husband were carjacked in Broadview on Tuesday.

BROADVIEW, Ill. (WLS) -- Illinois State Senator Kimberly Lightford is recounting the harrowing details of being carjacked in west suburban Broadview this week with her husband, Erin McKennie.

The incident happened Tuesday night around 9:45 p.m. in the 2000-block of South 20th Avenue.

Police said three men driving a Durango took a black Mercedez Benz SUV that belonged to Lightford. The state senate majority leader said she was dropping off a friend at the time.

Lightford, who said she feared for her life, described it like a scene out of a movie.

"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," said Lightford. "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."

Illinois State Senator Kimberly Lightford and her husband Eric McKennie were carjacked in suburban Broadview Tuesday night, according to police.

Lightford had a gun pointed at her and feared she was going to die.

"After we got the guns off of us my husband told me to run," Lightford recounted.

As she ran, gunfire erupted, her husband exchanging shots with the carjackers.

"I thought for sure they were gonna shoot me down," Lightford said. "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 and carry and he was able to protect us."

No was injured in the shooting, according to police.

The suspects took off in both the senator's car and in the Durango, police said.

The incident has not deterred her from taking part in a Christmas giveaway in Hillside. She attended Christmas in Proviso Thursday morning. It's a massive community giving effort that is blessing hundreds of kids with holiday presents.

Lightford is providing specific Christmas gifts for 59 kids in the community who are being raised by their grandparents.

In the loaner Mercedes SUV were some of the gifts Lightford had bought for the event. She went out shopping again Wednesday night to replace them.

Despite the trauma of two nights ago, Lightford called the event it therapeutic.

"For me as a little girl, Christmas has always just brought so much joy and happiness," said Lightford. " And I love giving back to other children so my entire time shopping was identifying specific requests from kids instead of just giving them anything, I wanted to give them what they actually asked for on their wish list."

82-year-old Merdise Lee attended the giveaway with her five-year-old great grandson RJ. She said she had no idea about the carjacking.

"It says something about her as a person that no matter what happens, she's still willing to carry out, you know what she needs to do? And oh my gosh," Lee said.

Lightford made Christmas for little RJ even more special with a bike that wasn't even on his wish list. As for herself, she celebrates the gift of being alive.

"I'm happy that my husband and I made it out of that safely and I'm going to enjoy, just enjoy life," Lightford said.

Police said they have recovered the loaner vehicle, which was abandoned on Chicago's West Side.

Lightford said she does not believe she was targeted but instead believes it was a random carjacking.