Police step up patrols in Central West End after family carjacked at gunpoint

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Frightening moments overnight when a woman and her three young daughters are carjacked at gunpoint in the parking lot of a Schnucks in the Central West End. Now, police are stepping up patrols in the area.

The incident happened about 12:45am. The Schnucks on Lindell is near both the Cathedral Basilica and the SLU campus. The mother who was in the car with the kids says she is still in shock and is just grateful that she and her kids are still alive.

The woman and her husband, who don’t want their names made public, say they were driving to Detroit for a church convention as part of a caravan. The family stopped at the Schnucks to buy cold medicine for their youngest child, the husband parking in the store’s fire lane so his family would be closer to the store and safer when he ran inside. His wife says right after her husband left the car, two male suspects pulled up in a gold Ford Taurus with the back window busted out. One of them jumped in the driver’s seat of the car with a gun and told the mother to get out. She refused because her kids were in the car. She says the man tried to push her out but she grabbed the door and was dragged through the parking lot until she couldn’t hold on anymore. The carjacker started to leave in the car with the three kids still inside,  but then the suspect let the children out a short distance away

The girls, who are just 5, 8 and 9 years old, along with the mom were all checked out by paramedics at the scene but not taken to a hospital.

Investigators say just a few hours another female stated she was exiting her vehicle earlier in the 4500 block of Forest Park when she was approached by three  male suspects .    According to police, the suspects surrounded her when one suspect punched her in the face and demanded her purse.