Mother terrorized by suspect in deadly Banning rampage speaks out

EMBED </>More Videos

The mother of two children terrorized by a suspect that went on a deadly rampage in Banning spoke out Sunday night.

The mother of two children terrorized by a suspect that went on a deadly rampage in Banning spoke out Sunday night.

Tara Shawn Ruehle went to her father's church to pick up some honey when she left her car on and locked the doors with her 3-year-old and 5-year-old inside.

Before going inside the church, she turned back only to see 34-year-old James Paul Diaz holding a carjack and bashing the window out of her car.

"I was completely calm, and I just asked him, excuse me what are you doing, this is my car," said Ruehle. "I could hear my kids crying in the back, and I could tell that he was manic and crazy."

Ruehle said Diaz claimed it was his own children in the car and he accused her of taking his kids.

Soon after, the victim said the suspect kept walking back and forth from her vehicle to his, parked 20 feet away, when she saw an opening to get her kids out.

"I grabbed my son out and told my daughter to get out of the car and run into the church and they did," said Ruehle. "My daughter, thank God for her, she sent somebody out for me."

While she waited for help, the suspect kept asking where his kids were and tried to get Ruehle to get in his car when the situation turned more bizarre.

"He told me, 'Come here and give me a kiss,'" Ruehle said. "He had gone into his car and I said 'No, you can just go, you can go.'"

A man finally came out of the church to help and was able to persuade the suspect to leave.

As Diaz drove away, Ruehle took a picture of his license plate and called police.

Ruehle later learned he had a gun inside his SUV and had already killed two people.

"My stepmom said she saw something on Facebook about it and we put the pieces together, and I realized what he had done," Ruehle said. "And I was really thankful at that point I stayed calm because it meant me keeping my life."

Related Topics:
shootingassaultattackBanningBeaumontRiverside County
(Copyright ©2017 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments