By David Schuman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A single mom is sharing a harrowing story of bravery after she was carjacked, kidnapped and assaulted in Minneapolis.

It happened Friday morning at a gas station near 3rd and Franklin avenues, just south of downtown.

The ordeal the woman went through began like most of her days do, getting gas to start her workday as an Instacart driver. A man wearing a ski mask approached her with a gun drawn.

“[He] held me at gunpoint and … made me sit on the passenger side of the car,” she said. “He then proceeded to put his gun on my back the entire time that I was in the car so I couldn’t leave.”

The woman, whose identity we’re protecting, says he pulled over after a few minutes and forced her into sexual acts.

“I was crying and I was begging him not to do this,” she said.

Carl Williams (credit: Henn. Co. Sheriff)

The woman managed to escape and ran to the closest house, screaming for help. Police found her abandoned car and the suspect, 37-year-old Carl Williams, later that day.

Officers say Williams was back at the same gas station wearing a ski mask, reportedly trying to carjack more people. His gun, which police found, turned out to be a BB gun.

Williams has been charged with kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct and aggravated robbery — all felonies.

“I feel lucky to be alive, because even though I’m still alive, it’s like my trauma does not end there,” the woman said. “This happened in the busiest gas station I know in front of everybody, and that’s extremely scary.”

She’s now raising money to help move her family out of Minneapolis.

“The first thing I thought when he came to me with a gun was my son,” she said. “I’ve lived here for almost 10 years and it’s has not been this bad, and now I just fear for my life.”

Williams has a lengthy criminal history, including a felony conviction for making terroristic threats. He’s being held without bail because this most recent arrest violates probation from a previous conviction. If convicted, the kidnapping charge alone carries a 40-year maximum sentence.

David Schuman