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Illinois State Senator Kimberly Lightford has opened about her ‘trauma’ after being carjacked at gunpoint this week, revealing that she begged the trio of armed robbers not to shoot her before her husband opened fire on the criminals and telling her to flee.

Lightford, 53, a Democrat who has been slammed by conservatives as being ‘soft on crime‘ for seeking to defund police departments in Illinois, was not physically harmed during the incident, a portion of which was caught on a Ring camera in suburban Chicago on Tuesday.

The carjacking in Illinois took place less than a day after Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon, 62, a fellow progressive Democrat from Philadelphia, was robbed at gunpoint.

Speaking to reporters during a Christmas gift giveaway event on Thursday, Lightford said of her harrowing ordeal: ‘I’m doing much better today. I didn’t realize what a traumatic event could do in an adult.’

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Illinois State Senator Kimberly Lightford, a Democrat, on Thursday opened up about her trauma after being carjacked at gunpoint in suburban Chicago

Illinois State Senator Kimberly Lightford, a Democrat, on Thursday opened up about her trauma after being carjacked at gunpoint in suburban Chicago

Illinois State Senator Kimberly Lightford, a Democrat, on Thursday opened up about her trauma after being carjacked at gunpoint in suburban Chicago 

A Ring camera caught the carjackers fleeing in Lightford's black Mercedes Benz SUV on Tuesday night in Broadview, Illinois (pictured)

A Ring camera caught the carjackers fleeing in Lightford's black Mercedes Benz SUV on Tuesday night in Broadview, Illinois (pictured)

A Ring camera caught the carjackers fleeing in Lightford’s black Mercedes Benz SUV on Tuesday night in Broadview, Illinois (pictured) 

Lightford said she and her husband were dropping off a friend when they were accosted by three gunmen, who took away their car keys and valuables

Lightford said she and her husband were dropping off a friend when they were accosted by three gunmen, who took away their car keys and valuables

Lightford said she and her husband were dropping off a friend when they were accosted by three gunmen, who took away their car keys and valuables 

Lightford and her husband, Eric McKennie, were dropping off a friend in the 2000 block of South 20th Avenue in Broadview, a town 20 minutes outside of Chicago, on Tuesday night, when she said three masked men jumped out of a Jeep Durango and approached the couple’s Mercedes Benz SUV, reported WGN.

The thieves brandished guns and demanded that the state senator and her husband hand over their car keys and other valuables.

‘I begged them not to shoot us, not to shoot my husband, or me,’ she said. ‘I told them to take whatever they want. They took everything off me that I had of value.

Lightford continued: ‘after we got the guns off of us, they separated me and husband.’

The state senator said her husband then told her to run.

‘I ran, reluctantly, because I didn’t want to leave him there,’ Lightford said.

She added that she was scared to be running away, saying: ‘I thought for sure they were going to shoot me.’

As Lightford was fleeing, she recalled hearing shots. She said her husband, who has a conceal carry permit, exchanged gunfire with the suspects, but no one was hurt.

Police later found the couple’s stolen black SUV abandoned on Chicago’s West Side. So far, none of the carjackers has been arrested.

In Philadelphia, law enforcement officials confirmed that FBI agents and state police have arrested five people, four males and one female, Wednesday night in connection to the theft of Congresswoman Scanlon’s car.  

Both women supported police reform policies last year following the Black Lives Matter movement, with both co-sponsoring a bill in their respective offices to allow mental health specialists to be dispatched as first responders instead of police officers. 

Lightford, the Illinois Black Caucus chairwoman, had also previously supported cutting police budgets in the state, with Chicago proposing to slash $59 million from their police department’s budget while violent crimes soar in the Windy City.   

Scanlon’s incident came after Philadelphia’s woke District Attorney, Larry Krasner, claimed there is not a ‘crisis of lawlessness’ – despite robberies skyrocketing by 27 per cent since 2020 and murders breaking an all-time record this year. 

And the attack against Lightford came just two days after Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot made a U-turn and asked for federal agents to help to get the city’s crime under control amid the proposed slash to the local police department.  

Democratic Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon was the victim of a carjacking in Philadelphia Wednesday afternoon

Democratic Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon was the victim of a carjacking in Philadelphia Wednesday afternoon

Democratic Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon was the victim of a carjacking in Philadelphia Wednesday afternoon

Kimberly Lightford (pictured) and her husband Eric McKennie were also carjacked by three masked individuals 20 minutes away from Chicago

Kimberly Lightford (pictured) and her husband Eric McKennie were also carjacked by three masked individuals 20 minutes away from Chicago

Kimberly Lightford (pictured) and her husband Eric McKennie were also carjacked by three masked individuals 20 minutes away from Chicago

Scanlon was walking to her parked vehicle and was approached by two men driving a dark-colored SUV, WPVI reported.

They demanded her keys and then fled in her 2017 Acura MDX with license plate LKG-8893. She had her car, purse, wallet and phone stolen but was not injured, her office confirmed.   

The car was located at the Christiana Mall, in Delaware, where all five suspects were taken in to custody. Police have not said if any charges have been filed.

‘I am relieved that Congresswoman Scanlon was not physically injured, and my thoughts are with her during this difficult time,’ Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a statement. 

‘The PPD will continue to provide any support needed in this case and will work diligently alongside our federal partners to assist in bringing those responsible to justice.’  

DailyMail.com has reached out to the Philadelphia Police Department for additional comment.

In a statement about the robbery, Scanlon’s spokesperson Lauren Cox said: ‘Wednesday afternoon, at around 2:45 p.m., Congresswoman Scanlon was carjacked at gunpoint in FDR Park following a meeting at that location.’ 

She added: ‘The Congresswoman was physically unharmed. She thanks the Philadelphia Police Department for their swift response, and appreciates the efforts of both the Sergeant at Arms in D.C. and her local police department for coordinating with Philly PD to ensure her continued safety.’ 

The crime against Congresswoman Scanlon comes at the end of a violent year in Philadelphia under ‘progressive prosecutor’ Krasner, who won re-election this year. 

Scanlon was robbed of her car at gunpoint in FDR Park (pictured) following a meeting there. She was walking to her parked vehicle when she two men driving a dark-colored SUV approached her, demanded her keys and fled in her 2017 Acura MDX – license plate LKG-8893

Scanlon was robbed of her car at gunpoint in FDR Park (pictured) following a meeting there. She was walking to her parked vehicle when she two men driving a dark-colored SUV approached her, demanded her keys and fled in her 2017 Acura MDX – license plate LKG-8893

Scanlon was robbed of her car at gunpoint in FDR Park (pictured) following a meeting there. She was walking to her parked vehicle when she two men driving a dark-colored SUV approached her, demanded her keys and fled in her 2017 Acura MDX – license plate LKG-8893

Scanlon's car was located later on Wednesday night at the Christiana Mall, in Delaware. Police arrested five suspects inside the car

Scanlon's car was located later on Wednesday night at the Christiana Mall, in Delaware. Police arrested five suspects inside the car

Scanlon’s car was located later on Wednesday night at the Christiana Mall, in Delaware. Police arrested five suspects inside the car

Just 16 hours earlier, Lightford was the victim of carjacking Tuesday night, said Chief of Police Thomas Mills.

‘This is still an ongoing investigation but I can confirm no shots were fired by the police,’ Mills said. ‘The victim did hear what they believed to be gunfire.’

Lightford said in a statement: ‘First and foremost, I am thankful that my husband and I are alive and physically unharmed. I am trying to process the trauma of what happened. I want to thank everyone who has offered their love and support.’

The Illinois Black Caucus chairwoman worked with Barack Obama when he was a state senator representing and in the late 1990s the two worked together to pass a racial profiling reform law. 

Her run-in with armed criminals comes two days after Lightfoot pleaded with Attorney General Merrick Garland to send Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents to the city for six months to combat rising crime. 

Lightfoot announced on Monday that she made a formal request to Garland to send ATF agents to Chicago for six months, a well as more federal prosecutors and federal marshals to help get illegal guns off the streets.

Her request comes after she proposed slashing $80 million from the Chicago Police Department budget in 2020 during ‘defund the police’ protests.

The proposal was later scaled back and 3.3% of the budget – or $59 million.

The incident took place about 12 miles west of Chicago, which is currently fighting a 25-year high murder rate, with 767 homicides occurring within the city so far this year.

Carjackings in the Windy City have jumped by about 32 percent through Sunday, with 1,781, up from 1,352 during the same time last year, Chicago Tribune reported

Lightford's carjacking comes two days after Mayor Lori Lightfoot (pictured) pleaded with AG Merrick Garland to send ATF agents to Chicago for six months

Lightford's carjacking comes two days after Mayor Lori Lightfoot (pictured) pleaded with AG Merrick Garland to send ATF agents to Chicago for six months

Lightford’s carjacking comes two days after Mayor Lori Lightfoot (pictured) pleaded with AG Merrick Garland to send ATF agents to Chicago for six months

As of December 6, Philadelphia had recorded 521 homicides for the year, surpassing New York's 443 and Los Angeles at 352

As of December 6, Philadelphia had recorded 521 homicides for the year, surpassing New York's 443 and Los Angeles at 352

As of December 6, Philadelphia had recorded 521 homicides for the year, surpassing New York’s 443 and Los Angeles at 352

Crime has run rampant in Philadelphia, where on December 10, a groom was robbed of his Rolex watch by armed bandits outside a wedding hall. 

Cops who responded to the scene caught up with the criminals and they were officially arrested last Thursday after being linked to at least 10 other robberies since October.

Video surveillance of the incident shows the unnamed groom outside with other members of his wedding party in the Old City neighborhood when the three gun-toting criminals jumped out of a sedan and ran up to the group and demanded the newlywed turn over his pricey watch.

At least dozen large mid-tier cities across the country have already broken their annual homicide records

At least dozen large mid-tier cities across the country have already broken their annual homicide records

At least dozen large mid-tier cities across the country have already broken their annual homicide records

At least dozen large mid-tier cities across the country have already broken their annual homicide records this year

At least dozen large mid-tier cities across the country have already broken their annual homicide records this year

At least dozen large mid-tier cities across the country have already broken their annual homicide records this year

The latest crime comes after a December 10 video went viral of a groom being robbed at gunpoint outside his wedding reception in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia. The criminals took off with his Rolex watch

The latest crime comes after a December 10 video went viral of a groom being robbed at gunpoint outside his wedding reception in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia. The criminals took off with his Rolex watch

The latest crime comes after a December 10 video went viral of a groom being robbed at gunpoint outside his wedding reception in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia. The criminals took off with his Rolex watch

The city of brotherly love has shattered its 30-year-old record for annual murders, surpassing the much larger cities of New York and Los Angeles

As of December 6, Philadelphia had recorded 521 homicides for the year, surpassing New York’s 443 and Los Angeles at 352. 

This is despite the fact that with a population of 1.5 million, Philly is less than half the size of Los Angeles and one-fifth of New York.  

The grim trend follows national calls to defund police departments, and in some cities, reforms to bail rules that critics claim let dangerous offenders loose pending trial.   

High-ranking Illinois State Senator and her husband are carjacked on the west side of Chicago – two days after mayor made a U-turn and asked for ATF help to get spiraling crime under control

Police said that on Tuesday night Kimberly Lightford (pictured) and her husband Eric McKennie were carjacked by three masked individuals

Police said that on Tuesday night Kimberly Lightford (pictured) and her husband Eric McKennie were carjacked by three masked individuals

Police said that on Tuesday night Kimberly Lightford (pictured) and her husband Eric McKennie were carjacked by three masked individuals

One of Illinois‘ most powerful politicians and her husband were car-jacked in a Chicago suburb, just two days after Mayor Lori Lightfoot asked the feds to help get the city’s spiraling crime under control. 

State Senator Kimberly Lightford, the Democratic Senate Majority Leader, and her husband, Eric McKennie, were carjacked by three masked men in a Dodge Durango in the western suburb of Broadview at around 9:45 pm on Tuesday, police saod

Lightford and her husband were driving a Mercedes Benz SUV on the 2000 block of South 20th Avenue when gunmen approached her car, fired multiple shots and took off with her vehicle. 

The state senator and her husband were not injured in the incident and police have not named any suspects.  

Lightford and her husband were driving a Mercedes Benz SUV on the 2000 block of South 20th Avenue (pictured) when the carjackers fired multiple shots and took off with her vehicle

Lightford and her husband were driving a Mercedes Benz SUV on the 2000 block of South 20th Avenue (pictured) when the carjackers fired multiple shots and took off with her vehicle

Lightford and her husband were driving a Mercedes Benz SUV on the 2000 block of South 20th Avenue (pictured) when the carjackers fired multiple shots and took off with her vehicle

On Wednesday, Lightford issued a statement saying she is grateful to be alive after the traumatic experience and thanked law enforcement. 

‘First and foremost I am thankful that my husband and I are alive and physically unharmed,’ she said in her statement. ‘I am trying to process the trauma of what happened. I want to thank everyone who has offered their love and support. I want to especially thank Mayor Katrina Thompson and the Broadview Police Department for their quick and thorough response.’ 

The incident took place about 12 miles west of Chicago, which is currently fighting a 25-year high murder rate, with 767 homicides occurring within the city so far this year.

Carjackings in the Windy City have jumped by about 32 percent through Sunday, with 1,781, up from 1,352 during the same time last year, Chicago Tribune reported. 

Chicago has also seen a 7.5 percent increase in violent crime this year when compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, according to an analysis from Axios, with some parts of the city seeing double the number of fatal shootings. 

Lightford, a Democrat from Maywood, is the second-highest ranking Democrat in the Illinois Senate behind Senate President Don Harmon, CBS2.com reported.  

Her run-in with armed criminals comes two days after Lightfoot pleaded with Attorney General Merrick Garland to send Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents to the city for six months to combat rising crime. 

Lightfoot announced on Monday that she made a formal request to Garland to send ATF agents to Chicago for six months, a well as more federal prosecutors and federal marshals to help get illegal guns off the streets.

Her request comes after she proposed slashing $80 million from the Chicago Police Department budget in 2020 during ‘defund the police’ protests.

The proposal was later scaled back and 3.3% of the budget – or $59 million – was cut and Lightfoot has since denounced the ‘defund’ movement, but Chicago’s police union still issued a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the mayor earlier this year.

‘The federal government remains uniquely qualified to help address the scourge of gun violence,’ Lightfoot said on Monday. ‘We need these additional resources well in advance of next summer.’

Lightfoot, a Democrat, blamed the rise in crime on gang violence – caused by poverty and neglect – and too many illegal guns on the streets.

‘I know people are scared,’ the mayor told residents at the news conference, noting: ‘I want to ensure you that from Day One public safety has been and will be my top priority.

‘I have and I will commit every bit of law enforcement muscle to fighting this fight, but I so know that lasting peace and safety will only come to this city when the underlying causes of violence and crime are addressed once and for all.

‘There are no quick solutions to the problems we are facing,’ she continued, but said: ‘We must do better immediately and in the short term to take back control from the criminals who are preying upon us and making all of us less safe.’

She said her goal is to ‘proactively and relentlessly bring peace to our city once and for all,’ noting that she has brought back the Chicago Police Department’s dedicated gun teams, and added more homicide detectives.

Lightfoot also said she has invested in programs to reduce crime, and touted her budget’s Our City, Our Safety violence reduction plan.  

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Source: dailymail

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