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Passenger says carjacker shot her friend during struggle, fled in vehicle

NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida teen is sharing her story after, she said, a man jumped into her car and became involved in a struggle with her friend before he opened fire, early Friday morning.

Nineteen-year-old Daniella Martinez said she and her friend Adonis Mendoza were sitting in the back of a Volkswagen sedan in Northwest Miami-Dade when the subject opened the door and got in the front seat, just after 2:30 a.m.

“All of a sudden, I hear my door open, and the lights turned on, and this guy gets in the car, and he just starts driving,” said Martinez, “and we were like, ‘What’s going on?'”

The victim said she and Mendoza, also 19, were parked just outside of Mendoza’s home, off Northwest 109th Street and Ninth Avenue, when the carjacker targeted them.

“He puts the car on drive and starts driving off towards the stop sign, ’cause [Mendoza] lives right where the intersection is,” said Martinez.

Daniella Martinez

The teen said her friend grabbed the subject by the neck. “And then he puts him in a chokehold, and then he hears ringing in his ears, and he sees smoke,” said Martinez. “That’s when he realized that [the carjacker] had a gun.”

Martinez said she could hardly believe what was unfolding before her eyes. “I was like, ‘I need to get out of here. This is crazy,'” she said. “Like, is this really happening?”

The victim said the thief dumped her and Mendoza out of the car not far from Mendoza’s home and sped away.

It wasn’t until they were out of her vehicle that Martinez realized her friend was hurt. “When I got out of the car, he was like, ‘I just got shot,’ and I was like, “What?!'”

The teens then ran to Mendoza’s house and knocked frantically on the door. “I hear [knocking], then, ‘Mom, help, help, Mom, help!'” said Blanca Solis, Mendoza’s mother.

Adonis Mendoza

Mendoza was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital with a gunshot wound to the left arm.

Martinez stood outside of the hospital wearing a sweatshirt covered in Mendoza’s blood.

Friday afternoon, she showed 7News the bloodied sweatshirt. “I’m not even, like, exaggerating. It’s like all over this,” she said as she held up a bloodstained sleeve.

Meanwhile, crime scene investigators remained at the scene of the shooting for hours as they pieced together clues.

“It was terrifying,” said Martinez. “I felt so powerless. I couldn’t do anything.”

Mendoza’s family said he is expected to recover.

Police are searching for the victim’s 2016 platinum silver Volkswagen Jetta.

If you have any information on this carjacking, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.