Trip to store turns into attempted carjacking for Cleveland fire official

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CLEVELAND-- A close call for a Cleveland fire official, who found herself staring down the barrel of a gun.  A routine trip to the grocery store turned into an attempted carjacking.

"He goes, get out of the car; get out of the car, I have a gun!" said Cleveland fire Captain Deberra Schroeder. “The gun’s probably 18 inches away from my face.”

Captain Schroeder says she had just gone inside the bank at the Giant Eagle on West 117th Street.  She says she received a call from a former firefighter and stopped at the end of the parking lot to speak to him.  That's when she says a gunman, dressed in black, approached her Jeep and opened the door.

"I also out of my peripheral vision, I noticed that another person dressed in black came up on my passenger side," she said.

Captain Schroeder is in charge of the arson unit, which also makes her a Cleveland police officer.  She had her weapon with her, but it was in a bag in the back seat.

"I decided to try and fake him out. I reached down on my right side, first I told him in really strong language, I said 'I have a gun too!" said Captain Schroeder.

Schroeder says she reached down, pretending to grab her gun from a holster.

"I know how fast a bullet can come out of there. He's dead on me; he's got me. I slightly turned. I noticed him looking at the logo on my shirt, which identified me as a police officer, and he ran away," she recalled.

Captain Schroeder says she followed the men as they ran through the parking lot, but eventually lost them.

"There are people over there getting out of their car, getting in their car and they're all at risk," she said.

Schroeder says she was familiar with the area, and was enjoying her phone call. She warns others to never let down their guard.

"I should have seen them coming near my car, but anybody that is talking on their phone and they're sitting in their car, lock your car," she advised.