Press Release - Potter County Sheriff's Office - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Press Release - Potter County Sheriff's Office

DATE:  08-04-10
TIME:  1030
OFFICER SUBMITTING RELEASE: Sheriff Brian Thomas
INCIDENT REPORT #: 10-13458
INCIDENT TYPE:  Homicide / Kidnapping
LOCATION: 14701 I-40 West, Loves Truck stop

DETAILS:   On 8-3-10 at approximately 8:55pm Amarillo Police responded to an Attempted Armed Abduction, the WF 31 was at 34th and Soncy getting air in a tire on her car when a subject pulled up in a pickup and asked if she needed a tire gauge. She told him no and he produced a semi-auto pistol and put it to her neck and told her to get in his pickup or he would kill her. The victim said she got away and he drove off when she ran into the convenience store.  The clerk locked the doors. The victim identified the suspect as a WM 65-70 years of age clean shaven, cowboy hat, cut over his left eye with a little blood and armed with a silver small semi-auto handgun. She described the truck as a White 4dr Ford pickup. (anything else reference this case will need to contact APD Crime Prevention at 378-4258 Case Number 2010-507845)

At 9:05pm Potter County Sheriff's Office received a call at the Loves Country Store at 14701 I-40 West. The caller was a 12 year old girl who said a man had grabbed her and had a gun.  She said she pushed him away and her grandmother told him to get away from her and let her go. The man said that he was going to kill her. It was later determined that the man followed the grandmother with her three grandkids into the store. The kids went back out to the vehicle and the suspect tried to abduct the 12 year old girl. The children's grandmother who is identified as SHARREL BLANKENBAKER, 63, of Felts, Oklahoma stepped in front of the three kids told the suspect to leave them alone. The suspect then shot her and left the scene. Mrs. Blankenbaker was fatally wounded and died on the way to the hospital. The vehicle was described as a white 4dr pickup.

Shortly after that a 911 call was received from an address on Indian Hills Road of an 11 year old child who was just abducted. It was later determined that two 11 year old girls were walking down the street when a white 4dr pickup drove by them and asked if they were ok. The truck turned around and a WM got out and approached the girls wanting to show them something.   One girl ran off and the WM grabbed the other and forced her in the truck at gun point and told her he would kill her.  

At 9:24pm Potter County Deputy Simpson spotted a white 4dr pickup matching the description of the suspect vehicle.   He followed the pickup until backup arrived. The truck was traveling south on Blessen Rd and at Jim Line Rd. the truck turned westbound.  Deputy White was approaching from the west and the girl was able to escape by jumping out of the moving vehicle.  The truck attempted to flee, shots were fired and the deputy returned fire. The suspect was struck and did die at the scene. The girl suffered scrapes and abrasions from the fall and was taken to a local hospital.  She was treated and released.

The suspect is identified as Gary Don Carner, 58, of Amarillo.   The Potter County Deputy involved in the shooting, Deputy White, was placed on Administrative Leave for 3 days according to the Potter County Sheriff's Office Policy.  Special Crimes will be handling the investigation of the homicide and officer involved shooting.