Alleged kidnapping victim: 'I was forced into the trunk at gunpoint'
A man is talking to News 5 after he says he was held at gunpoint and forced into a car trunk this weekend. We're told the incident happened early Sunday morning at a home in Kingsport.
A 23-year-old man in Kingsport is recovering after an alleged kidnapping happened around 2:30 Sunday morning at a house off of Belsay Drive in Kingsport. "I thought I was going to die. I was pretty scared," the victim told us.
The man, who didn't want to be identified, tells us he was staying at a friend's home. A woman named Danielle Adams was there as well; the victim says he didn't know her. Leslie Earhart with the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office says Adams arraigned a drug deal, then ran away without paying for the drugs.
"I turn around and take off running, and I heard gunshots. I got low to the ground, and by the time I got low to the ground the guys had already caught up with me," says the victim.
Earhart says the suspects then took the victim at gunpoint to the home he was visiting. They shot a second time above the homeowner's head and told him to get inside.
Earhart says the suspects searched the home for the female who allegedly took the drugs, but couldn't find her.
The victim tells us that’s when they shoved him in the trunk of their car at gunpoint. "I didn't think I was going to get to see my family ever again, to be honest. When I was in the trunk I was pretty much praying the whole time," he said.
The victim tells us when he was inside the trunk, he couldn't hear what the suspects were saying because they turned up music in the vehicle. "We rode around for a little bit. I don't know how long I was in the trunk, I'd say 20 or 30 minutes. Then I heard it get quiet," he said.
Deputies stopped the car on McCulley Lane. Earhart says that's when three of the suspects ran into a wooded area.
That was when deputies heard a noise coming from the trunk. "I just figured it was different people. I didn't know what was going on, so I just started hitting the trunk and beating on it, praying someone would let me out," says the victim.
Deputies arrested the three suspects who ran after using a K-9 and searching the area. All four suspects are facing various charges in Sullivan County.
Meanwhile, the victim tells us he's thankful to be alive. "It's changed my perspective on life, that's for sure," he said.
The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office tells us five people are now facing charges because of the incident. Click here to view their mugshots.
19-year-old Jesse Shaffer of Gray, Tennessee is charged with especially aggravated kidnapping, possession for resale, felony evading arrest and two counts of aggravated assault.
20-year-old Andrew Farmer of Johnson City is charged with especially aggravated kidnapping, possession for resale, felony evading arrest and aggravated burglary.
18-year-old Colin Kotomski of Kingsport is charged with especially aggravated kidnapping, possession for resale and felony evading arrest.
20-year-old James McCord of Bluff City is charged with especially aggravated kidnapping, possession for resale and felony evading arrest.
18-year-old Danielle Adams was charged with simple possession and theft under $500 on Monday.
Leslie Earhart with the Sullivan County Sheriff's office tells us there is no evidence to prove the victim knew this was going to happen. She says charges are not likely against the victim.
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