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Family’s car riddled with bullets as they drove away from CA mall

By Steve Large

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    TRACY, California (KOVR) — Bullets flew and hit a family’s car as they were leaving the West Valley Mall in Tracy.

All five people inside escaped unharmed. The driver is an expectant mother.

Now, the family is seeking the public’s help tracking down the suspects.

Makayla Johnson showed the shattered glass and riddled frame of her car after it was hit at least four times by bullets.

“So, when the drivers came up, they started shooting from the back, they hit this window twice,” Johnson said while showing the damage. “It was really shocking. It was just nerve-racking. Like it was something that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.”

Johnson’s 13-, 14- and 19-year-old brothers, and her boyfriend were in the car with her. She is also three months pregnant.

“It’s scary because, you know, I’ve never looked at it from a parent’s perspective until now, and now I have a baby coming and what is my baby going to do?” Johnson said.

Johnson recounted as her family was leaving West Valley Mall Saturday evening, they were stared down by a group of boys.

Johnson then noticed a vehicle tailgating her as she drove away from the mall. That car drove alongside her and someone inside then started firing at them.

“It’s just reckless, and people are just losing their lives for what?” Johnson said. “I mean, everyone in that car had something going for them, or has something going for them.”

Mercedes Bartlow is Johnson’s stepmother and mother of the 13- and 14-year-old boys who were riding with Johnson in the car.

“They were shooting to kill my kids,” Bartlow said.

She says she asked investigators for surveillance video of the suspect vehicle and says police told her they have not found any so far.

“There needs to be cameras from the inside to the outside,” Bartlow said. “Had there been cameras, we would have some people in custody right now.”

A call to West Valley Mall was not immediately returned.

“I’d much rather be paying for a car than paying, you know, for a funeral, or paying for a hospital bill,” Johnson said.

A family trip to the mall turned into a gun violence survival story. Now, a search is underway for the suspects.

Tracy police have not released any suspect or vehicle descriptions so far.

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