17-year-old San Jose girl talks about stolen car, getting shot

Wednesday, December 16, 2015
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San Jose police are searching for the man they say shot a 17-year-old teenage girl after she confronted him for stealing her car.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- San Jose police are searching for a man who they say shot a 17-year-old girl after she confronted him for stealing her car. Police officials say the girl is okay, but add that what she did was dangerous.

Sarah Hogan says that in hindsight, she now knows it was a bad idea. Still, she is pretty shaken up and will never take life for granted again.

"I never, like, ever thought in a million years that I would get shot," she said.

But it happened to Hogan after a dangerous confrontation Monday night, with a thief who had just stolen her car.

San Jose police were seen gathering evidence from where it happened on Winfield Boulevard and Coleman Road. The 17-year-old had left the keys inside her silver Camry while talking with a friend in another car near Almaden Lake. When they saw the man driving away, they decided to follow.

Hogan explains, "I was just really angry in the moment and I made a rash decision. It wasn't smart."

Hogan says they caught up with the guy about a block away when he was stopped at the light and she opened the door.

"I opened it and said, 'Get out of my car!'" Hogan says.

Instead, he shot her below the collarbone, the bullet going clean through. Friends took to social media with the hashtag #PrayForSarah.

"We all wore tie dye to school today to support her," said Alan Chun, a friend of Hogan's.

To their surprise, the high school senior showed up for class on Tuesday. She knows she's lucky to be alive. Her friend told Hogan the gunman had been aiming for her head. Police say they aren't blaming the victim, but note that following a criminal is simply not wise.

"It's not worth it, your life is more important than property," San Jose Police Sgt. Enrique Garcia said.

Investigators found the girl's car, but the thief got away. Police describe him as an 18 to 20-year-old Latino. They're hoping to find surveillance video that may help.