Woman killed near Bushland, suspect shot and killed

The Potter County Sheriff's department is investigating what led to the shooting death of a woman near Bushland.

Tuesday evening around 8:55 Amarillo Police were called to an attempted armed abduction, of a 31-year-old female at 34th and Soncy.

Police say the woman was airing up a car tire when a man pulled up in a pickup and asked if she needed a tire gauge. She told him no, and he pulled a semi-automatic pistol and put it to her neck, he told her to get in his pickup or he would kill her. The victim said she got away and he drove off when she ran into a convenience store. The clerk then locked the door.

The victim identified the suspect as a white male 65-70 years of age clean shaven, cowboy hat, cut over his left eye with a little blood and armed with a silver small semi-auto handgun. She described the truck as a white 4-door Ford pickup. That suspect has now been identified as Gary Don Carner, 58, of Amarillo.

Ten minutes later around 9:05, Potter County Sheriff's Office received a call at the Loves Country Store at 14701 I-40 West. The caller was a 12-year-old girl who said a man now identified as Carner, had grabbed her and had a gun. She said she pushed him away and her grandmother told him to get away and let her go. The suspect then said he was going to kill her.

Authorities later determined that Carner, followed the grandmother with her three grandkids into the store. The kids left the store and went to the vehicle, at that time the man tried to abduct the 12-year-old girl.

The children's grandmother Sharrel Blankenbaker, 63, of Felts, Oklahoma, stepped in front of the three kids told the suspect to leave them alone. The suspect then shot her and left the scene.

Blankenbaker was fatally wounded and died on the way to the hospital.

Shortly after the shooting at Loves, a 911 call was received from an address on Indian Hills Road of an 11-year-old child who was abducted.

Officers later learned that two 11-year-old girls were walking down the street when a white 4-door pickup matching the description of the vehicle in the other incidents drove by. The man in the truck asked if the girls were okay. He then turned the truck around, got out of the pickup, and told the girls he wanted to show them something. One girl ran off and Carner grabbed the other little girl forcing her inside the truck at gun point, telling her he would kill her.

At 9:24 p.m. a Potter County Deputy spotted a white 4-door pickup, that matched the description of Carner's truck. The deputy followed the pickup until backup arrived.

The truck was traveling south on Blessen Road and Jim Line Road and turned westbound. Another deputy was approaching from the west and the girl was able to escape by jumping out of the moving vehicle.

The truck attempted to escape, shots were fired and the deputy returned fire. The suspect, Gary Don Carner, was hit and died at the scene.

The girl suffered scrapes and abrasions from the fall and was taken to a local hospital.

The Potter County deputy involved in the shooting, was placed on administrative leave for three days. That's according to the Potter County Sheriff's Office policy.

Special Crimes in handling the investigation of the homicide and officer involved shooting.