RENO, NV - “He came real close to merging with me. He went over into the left lane there was a semi, and a little red car and he made a third lane and cut around them. I thought it was an NHP Trooper after someone,” says carjacking victim Marie Coates.
Coates says she continued driving east assuming the NHP car would catch up to the vehicle she though he was chasing..
But soon she says she saw white smoke not once...but twice, and realized the vehicle's right side tires were blown.
That's when she says the truck started moving toward the left and then came to a stop.
“Can't get away either way. So he goes up and says something to the lady in the little red car and looks back at my car and she leaves and then he started coming towards me. I noticed the gun. He came right up to the rear view mirror and he was standing there with the gun and all of a sudden he raised it up. I don't know if he shot up in the air or over my car, but he shot. Like I said he was standing right there. He started screaming at me. "Get out of the car, I'm not kidding, get out of the car." So I grabbed my purse and bag I started getting out of the car and he's still yelling, “Get out of the car, I'm, not kidding," says Coates
Her five year old gray Grand Prix eventually ended up off the road near the first exit in Fernley.
She says it didn't appear as if the car rolled, rather hit hard once it left the roadway.
Her only form of transportation, she says she was eventually allowed to get her house keys out of the vehicle after midnight.
Just across the highway is where the suspect took his life with the NHP weapon.
Coates says she got only a quick glance but it was the last image she has of the entire day's episode.
Not much older than her own sons she says she was the last person to talk to him.
Her final words to the suspected were, “don't hurt my car.”
“No I hate the way it ended. In fact, like I said its my worst thing, just have to deal with that,” says Coates.
Coates says there was no shootout on the highway while she was driving.
Rather she says she believes the NHP truck tires were shot out before it left to get on the Mustang on ramp.
After getting over the initial shock of the entire incident, she says her next hurdle is coming up with a car.
The Grand Prix has been impounded and is severely damaged.