Ex-girlfriend of U-Haul car chase suspect speaks out about his drug addiction

Posted at 9:08 PM, Jan 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-04 11:48:50-05

Jack Barnes is the name of the suspect accused of leading police on a car chase through multiple Valley cities while behind the wheel of a U-Haul truck last month.

The armed robbery suspect was shot by police on Dec. 29 after robbing an AM/PM convenience store near 75th and Peoria avenues. He then attempted to carjack a woman in Paradise Valley.

His ex-girlfriend, Heather, is still in disbelief over the incident. 

"I just want my Jack back," She said. "That's all I have wanted was for him to come back and be the person he used to be."

The pair has three kids together. However, their life took an unexpected turn in 2013.  

Heather explained that Barnes became a different person when he became addicted to prescription pills.

"When his knees got bad, he started using pills, and then it was cheaper to buy drugs," she said.

According to Barnes' stepfather, the 29-year-old man is now addicted to heroin and meth. He previously tried rehab, but would always relapse. His choices landed him behind bars on multiple occasions.

It wasn't until recently that Heather thought Barnes was ready to turn his life around — to step up, and be the father he promised to be.

"He was saying he had a place for us to move to," she explained. 

He also told her he had a plan — but that plan involved a robbery, officer-involved chase and an attempted carjacking.

"It broke my heart," Heather said. 

Heather, who didn't know Barnes spent hours involved in a car chase with police, became worried after the man failed to return to the hotel with the U-Haul packed with all her personal belongings.

"I started to look at hospitals, I started looking at MCSO, I couldn't find anything so I figured he ditched us," Heather said. "To know he was out there doing that and his family is over here sitting and waiting for him to show up." 

Now, the suspect's ex-girlfriend hopes the incident will encourage him to turn his life around; to figure out his priorities. 

And she has a message for the father of her children.

"I miss you, the way you were," Heather said. "I wish you would remember who you used to be."