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Houston Car Salesman Beaten, Kidnapped During Test Drive

A Houston car salesman's quick thinking may have saved his life when a routine test drive took an unexpected turn.

Car salesman Jose Martinez, 21, was beaten up and put into the trunk of a car he was trying to sell while taking a man on a test drive Monday, Houston police told NBC News on Tuesday.

Car Salesman Kidnapped During Test Drive 1:46

The saga started around 6 p.m. local time when Martinez was contacted by a man who wanted to test drive a car at Gillman Chrysler Jeep Dodge, police said. At some point during the test drive, the carjacker pulled over on a dark road and struck the salesman in the face, authorities added.

"A second male showed up and they both put the salesman in the trunk," said Houston police spokesman Victor Senties. "At some point, they opened the trunk and the employee managed to escape his bindings."

Image: Jose Martinez
Jose Martinez Family photo via KPRC

After a short struggle, Martinez got control of the carjackers' gun and fired several shots at his captors. The suspects then got into the car and fled, Senties said.

The thieves didn't realize that Martinez had called his friend and turned on the tracker on his phone while he was in the trunk of the car, NBC affiliate KPRC reported. Police were led to the stolen car, but the kidnappers got away.

Martinez was taken to Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital with minor injuries and is expected to make a full recovery, Senties said.

Melissa Martinez, the salesman's mother, told KPRC that her son's deft decision-making could have saved his life.

"That's Jose. He's very fast. He thinks of something really quick," she said.

Houston Police are still searching for the two suspects involved in the carjacking.