Girl Calls Slain Grandmother Her 'Role Model'

A heartbreaking story of selflessness and sacrifice

By Artie Ojeda
|  Friday, Aug 13, 2010  |  Updated 9:23 PM PDT
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Girl Calls Slain Grandmother Her 'Role Model'

Barbara Blankenbaker

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Girl Calls Slain Grandmother Her 'Role Model'

A 63-year old woman was shot and killed while saving her granddaughter, who lives in Ramona, from a would-be kidnapper in Texas. Source: Girl Calls Slain Grandmother Her 'Role Model' | NBC San Diego
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A 63-year old woman was shot and killed while saving her granddaughter, who lives in Ramona, from a would-be kidnapper in Texas.

12-year old Cassidy Blankenbaker is a very strong young lady. She wanted NBC San Diego to make sure the focus of this story is her 'grandmother' who stepped between her and a man with a gun, while the man was trying to force Cassidy into his truck.

“One thing I remember him saying is 'do you want to die,' to her, and she said no, and he said I'm going to help her and all this other stuff and then he just turned to her and just shot her,” Cassidy said.

The shooting happened last week at a mini mart gas station near Amarillo. Cassidy and her brother were there to visit their grandparents.

The man, who had allegedly tried to kidnap two other women earlier that night, confronted them.

"He jumped out of the car with a gun and pointed it at me and said 'get in my truck or I'll shoot', and he grabbed my arm and started pulling me," Cassidy said.  " I kept saying no, I'm not going to get in your truck, leave me alone, get away from me."

That's when 63-year old Sharrel Blankenbaker stepped in. She distracted the suspect long enough for Cassidy to get away.

"One thing I remember him saying is 'do you want to die' to her and she said no and he said 'I'm gonna help her' and all this other stuff and then he just turned to her and just shot her," Cassidy said. "She was saying 'he shot me, he shot me, help me, somebody’."

Blankenbaker died at the scene.

"I know if I stopped to help her, he might have taken me. There wasn't anything I could do. I felt really bad that there was nothing I could do, I couldn't go over to her and make it all better."

The suspect in the case, Gary Carner, 58, took another 11-year old girl from the same gas station. A short time later he was shot and killed by deputies.

"I'm glad he's dead, that he can't do this to anyone else, but I just was wishing something more would have happened to him, something worse," said Cassidy.

Cassidy said her grandmother loved everyone.

"I hope that when I'm older, that I can be exactly like her. I want to be the best mother in law, mother, and grandmother, just be her. She was my role model. She was, I think, the woman everyone should be,” she said.

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