MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A family held hostage in their own home said a jammed gun saved their lives. They shared their story with WREG to help warn others about domestic violence.
“I just don’t want nobody to kill us,” said one of the women, who didn’t want to identify herself out of fear of retribution.
She said Daryl Carter held her and her family hostage in a North Memphis house all weekend. The family included three children.
They’re now in a traumatized state of fear.
“I’m lost I need some type of help. I don’t know what to do,” she said.
One of the women said she was dating Carter for the last year but his behavior changed in recent weeks.
He started speaking about what sounded like hallucinations.
“He kept opening the attic saying, ‘Come on out, go up there,’” she said.
The threats escalated Friday when they turned potentially deadly.
“He said come in here, feed the kids cause it’s fitting to be everyone’s last supper. It’s going to be a suicide-homicide,” the women said. “After [the kids] went to their room and went to sleep, he came back in there, got the gun, start shooting. He said he was paranoid and there were people after him.”
“I just could hear gunshots. Him putting the gun up to our head. The baby jumping,” they said.
She fired the gun multiple times, but miraculously, when he held it to their heads it didn’t go off.
“Everything just keep playing back in my head when he put the gun up to my head and cocked it back and pulled the trigger but it jammed,” they said. “I’m fitting to die. We just fittin’ to die. He kept clicking.”
They only got away because he let them go to the store to get cigarettes. Instead they called 911 and raced to an MPD precinct where officers followed them back to rescue the children.
Police arrested Carter and charged him 15 times, including for attempted murder.
Now, even though these women need help themselves, they also want to help others with a message about domestic violence.
“The first signs, you gotta go. The first signs of somebody doing crazy stuff, you gotta go,” they said.
They also said Carter’s family has since told them he has schizophrenia.
If you need help in a domestic violence situation, call the Family Safety Center’s hotline at 901-800-6064.