D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - What started as a quick shopping trip turned into an afternoon of terror for a Jackson County woman. Police say Lauren Holliman was carjacked in D'Iberville Wednesday. The crime happened in broad daylight in the middle of a busy store parking lot. The victim recounted those harrowing moments.
"He stood right here on the curb, right by my window, and told me if I didn't give him the keys to my car, he was going to kill me," said Holliman.
The St. Martin woman remembers every frightening detail of the moment she became a carjacking victim. It was just after noon on Wednesday. She pulled into the parking lot at the D'Iberville Walmart and started texting her husband to ask him what he wanted for dinner.
"All of a sudden, a guy walks up from behind me and asked for a ride. I told him no. There's no way I'm giving him a ride," Holliman said.
She said the man walked away, but then turned around.
"He walked up and said, 'If you don't give me the keys to your car, I'm going to kill you.' I said, 'Are you serious? It's broad daylight at Walmart. Do you really want to do that?' He showed me his gun and his knife," she said.
Holliman said with so many cars driving by, she was hoping someone would come to her rescue.
"I was very scared. I wanted to scream for help, but I was afraid. What if I did and he had his hand on that gun? I mean, what's to stop him from just pulling it and shooting me," she asked.
Despite her fears, Holliman refused to give up her keys.
"If I was to hand him those keys, what's to stop him from forcing me into the passenger seat and taking me with him, because I couldn't get out? So, I think that shocked him that I didn't comply immediately. When I told him that he needed to leave, he left," she said.
Holliman immediately called 911.
"I'm on the phone with her still, and here comes the D'Iberville Police. They got here fast," she said.
At the time, Holliman had no idea that the man she accused of carjacking her was the subject of a 15 hour manhunt. The suspect was wanted for the armed robbery of a cab driver at the Promenade Shopping Center Tuesday night.
"Our victim was able to give a very good description of the suspect, and within minutes, we had him under arrest in the Walmart parking lot," said D'Iberville Police Captain Terry Hines. "We're very grateful to her, because she was a good witness."
That suspect is 23-year-old Nathan Brustein, of Plano, TX.
"It still feels surreal a little bit," said Holliman. "He could have done it to someone else very easily and had a totally different outcome. So, I want to thank the entire police department for that."
Holliman said she is also grateful that her two children were not with her.
"I may have reacted totally different had I had them in the car with me, but thank God I didn't," she said.
Brustein is in the Harrison County Jail under a $500,000 bond. He is charged with armed robbery and carjacking.