Neighbor: Carjacking victim is father of kidnapped children

Updated:

Dehra Jenkins heads toward a car more than 10 hours after she and her two children were kidnapped by an armed carjacker in southeast Atlanta.

ATLANTA - The neighbor of a mother and two children who were kidnapped Friday night says her prayers were answered when the family was found safe and sound Saturday morning.

"I prayed this morning, last night, praying (that her) children will be fine because she is a beautiful young lady," Rose Thomas told Channel 2's Liz Artz.

Thomas knows Derah Jenkins, her 10-year-old son, Deryl, and Derah's 7-year-old daughter, Chloe.

Thomas' granddaughter is good friends with the 31-year-old mother of two. Thomas' granddaughter, who only gave her first name, Kim, told Artz about the frightening ordeal that involved a shooting, a kidnapping and an Amber Alert.

"I heard from Derah. Derah just called and said 'I'm fine. They let us go," Thomas said.

Atlanta police have not released many details, but neighbors said Jenkins, her children, and their father were in a car in front of Jenkins' home on Bass Street Friday night when someone tried to carjack them. The suspect shot the children's dad.

"She was pushed back into the car and they made her drive off," Thomas said.

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That sparked an Amber Alert that didn't end until 8:30 a.m. Saturday when the three were found safe at the Mall West End. Channel 2 Action News cameras got a  brief glimpse of the children being helped into a car and of Jenkins after she was treated by paramedics. Jenkins' friend, Kim, said that's when she got the call they were all OK. Kim then called detectives.

The children's father was rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital on Friday night. Channel 2 Action News is trying to gather details about his condition.

Police, meanwhile, are still looking for the gunman.

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