Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Local News

August 18, 2011

Recent kidnap victim commended for bravery

By Chris Agee | cagee@mineralwellsindex.com

Mineral Wells Police Chief Mike McAllester took an opportunity during Tuesday’s city council meeting to issue a public commendation to the teen victim of a June 1 armed kidnapping.

19-year-old Saranda Gashi was returning home from work when a co-worker approached her, indicating he was armed with a gun and knife.

Andrew Coffman, 28, reportedly threatened to kill Gashi if she did not travel to Mexico with him.

Gashi received the commendation plaque to recognize the quick thinking she exhibited that resulted in her safety.

Shortly after her kidnapping, Gashi dialed 911 on her cell phone, leaving it open in her pocket to allow dispatchers to hear the crime as it unfolded.

Because of Gashi’s determination, McAllester said, authorities were able to pinpoint her location to a convenience store in the 1600 block of S.E. 22nd Avenue.

When Gashi saw responding officers, she exited the vehicle and was then fired at by Coffman, leading an officer to return fire, resulting in Coffman’s death.

According to the accompanying letter of commendation, Gashi’s “calm demeanor, determination to survive, and quick thinking certainly saved [her] life and possibly others as well.”

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