A carjacking incident that took place at a Missouri gas station on May 20, 2020, has finally seen closure with the guilty pleas of two men involved. The nephew of the car owner, who was nearly killed during the theft, is still grappling with the grave consequences of that day.
The harrowing ordeal began when the nephew, temporarily in charge of his uncle's black Saturn Aura, stopped at a MotoMart gas station to purchase two Cokes. Little did he know that this routine stop would change his life forever. As he stepped out of the store, he saw an unknown individual driving away with the car. In a desperate attempt to stop the theft, the nephew threw a Coke can at the moving vehicle, only to be brutally struck down, leaving him with life-threatening and permanent injuries, including severe brain trauma.
Brandon Vandoren, 29, from St. Louis County, identified as the passenger in a previously stolen Dodge Dart, along with a 31-year-old accomplice from St. Louis, executed the carjacking. Vandoren, after being dropped off by his associate, seized control of the Aura and sped away. Their escape quickly escalated into a high-speed chase with law enforcement. The chase ended with the accomplice crashing the Dodge Dart and attempting to flee on foot.
In a turn of events, Vandoren, in the stolen Aura, tried to pick up his fleeing partner but was forced to abandon him as police closed in. The accomplice was subsequently apprehended while Vandoren managed to evade immediate capture.
The investigation led authorities to a St. Louis County hotel the next day, where they discovered the damaged Aura, complete with a broken headlight, windshield, and traces of the victim's skin. Information obtained about Vandoren's father renting a hotel room in the vicinity led to a swift police operation. When law enforcement knocked on the hotel room door, Vandoren answered and was arrested.
The tragic incident culminated in Vandoren pleading guilty to one count of carjacking on November 8, while his accomplice pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm on November 13. Vandoren now faces a sentence of up to 25 years in prison, and his accomplice could serve up to 10 years. Their sentencing is scheduled for February.
This case not only highlights the dangerous and often unpredictable nature of criminal activities but also sheds light on the lasting impact such incidents can have on victims and their families. As the legal proceedings draw to a close, the nephew continues to battle the severe aftermath of the incident that nearly claimed his life.
Source: The Kansas City Star