Woman Carjacked at St. Elizabeth Community Hospital, Held Hostage
The elderly victim, who was forced to drive the vehicle, jumped out of the moving car after police deployed a spike strip.
RED BLUFF, Calif. — An Oregon man was arrested Friday morning after police say he carjacked an elderly woman at gunpoint outside St. Elizabeth Community Hospital and took her hostage.
Red Bluff police had received multiple calls about a man attempting to carjack people at the hospital and firing a gun. By the time they arrived, the suspect, 22-year-old Karl Van Hoomissen, had fled the scene, forcing a woman he carjacked to drive her vehicle.
Prisma Tapia, the daughter of victim Maria Carrasel, said her mother was at the hospital to get lab work done when Van Hoomissen pointed a gun at her through her car window.
“My mom basically told him ‘just take the car’ but he was like ‘no you need to drive the car,'” Tapia told ABC 7. “So, technically, what she said was she continued driving and was going about 50 miles per hour and the police were chasing her.”
During a police pursuit down Highway 99, Red Bluff police Sergeant Ruben Murgia said Van Hoomissen fired multiple shots out of the vehicle. Temporary lockdowns were put in place at nearby Corning and Paskenta schools during the pursuit, according to Corning Observer.
Authorities were able to deploy a spike strip and flatten the tires. Carrasel jumped out of the vehicle before it came to a full stop after hitting the spikes. She fractured her arm and was treated at St. Elizabeth.
Van Hoomissen remained in the stopped vehicle and was taken into custody without further incident. He was booked at Tehama County Jail on $100,000 bail and is facing multiple charges, including attempted murder, kidnapping, carjacking and assault with a deadly weapon.
“We’re going to help her heal physically and seeing what we can do for her mental health because obviously, this has been a really tragic experience,” Tapia said of her mother. “You only see it in movies, you never expect it, especially in a little town.”
Hospital spokeswoman Christine McMurry praised employees for their handling of the incident.
“The person sitting in front of the emergency department screening spot hit the floor, pushed the panic button and called 911,” she said. “Everything went off without a hitch.”