Gun Barrel City Woman Details Her Horrifying Abduction - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/21/08--Henderson County

Gun Barrel City Woman Details Her Horrifying Abduction

"He said I could either strangle you, shoot you, or I'm going to put you down in the well." 

That's the ultimatum Shirley Shafer said she was given after a young man allegedly robbed, assaulted, and abducted her.

She did not want her face shown on camera because she works at an elementary school and didn't want any of the kids to see her face--battered and bruised during a horrific crime last weekend.

She said Josh Cannon, 18, a registered sex offender, came knocking on her door, late Friday night.  He said he wanted to use the phone.  When she answered, her worst nightmare began. 

"He pushed me over, and hit me with the end of a rifle," she said.  "I said, son, you don't want to do this to me, please."

Shafer said Cannon asked for her purse, her car keys, and then told her they were going for a ride.

Trapped inside her own car, she tried swerving the steering wheel and pulled at the door handle to escape, but the suspect held her down.  Then he pulled onto a wooded path.

That's when he gave her the ultimatum -- get strangled, get shot, or get pushed into an abandoned well. 

Once out of the car and into the dark of night, the suspect forced Shafer up a hill, through woods and brush, and eventually led her to the old well.  He forced her legs over the side and then pushed her more than 20 feet to the bottom.

"I started hollering," she said, with tears in her eyes.  "I got to where I could sit on a log and just started praying."

For nearly 15 hours, Shafer said she sat cold and shaking in the bottom of the well.  "I just sit there and prayed, thinking about my family."

Meanwhile, her family became concerned after checking her messages only to find out her car had been impounded by Seagoville Police.  After a frantic search, relatives remembered the well.  Moments later, Shafer heard voices.

"It was my grandson and his girlfriend.  The Lord blessed me there.  He gave me a miracle," she said.

Authorities arrived moments later and rescued her from her watery prison.

She said, now, she's just grateful for her second chance at life.

Shafer suffered a broken nose, and still had to pay a $100 impound fee to get her car back.

The suspect, Josh Cannon, was charged with aggravated assault, aggravated robbery, and aggravated kidnapping. 

Layron Livingston, Reporting.  llivingston@kltv.com

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