The husband of a woman who was fatally stabbed in Baltimore after she tried to give money to a woman in need has spoken out.
Maryland woman Jacquelyn Smith had asked her husband, Keith Smith, to pull over last week after she saw a female panhandler holding what appeared to be a baby along with a sign that read that she needed assistance.
Smith then rolled down her window and offered $10, according to reports. But then, a man approached the vehicle and said he wanted to thank her for the help, but he instead tried to grab her purse and necklace, ABC News reported.
In the ensuing struggle, the man then stabbed Jacquelyn Smith. “This girl actually said, ‘God bless you’” after the suspect stabbed his wife, Keith Smith told the Baltimore Sun.
“She was trying to help someone out,” Keith Smith told ABC. “I think the reality is, we forget about the times that we’re living in. You may have the best intentions on helping this person, but when you let a person get into your safe zone, you’re actually opening yourself up to whatever this person has intended for you.”
The incident took place in the Johnston Square neighborhood of East Baltimore at 12:30 a.m. after their daughter’s 28th birthday.
“It was drizzling, it was cold, wet and my wife, like any normal person, felt sorry for the baby, which turned out not to even be a baby,” he said of the incident. The woman’s “baby” may have been a doll, he said.
“It must have been like a stuffed animal or something wrapped in a blanket. From where we were, it looked like a baby and we thought it was a baby,” Smith recalled.
He said he saw a man standing next to the woman but it didn’t occur to him that they would try to rob them.
“As she was handing her the money, the guy came to say ‘Thank you,’ and the woman was saying ‘God bless you. God bless you,'” Smith explained. “While we’re looking at her saying ‘God bless you’ and my wife was handing her the money, he came over to the car and said ‘Thank you’ and then he started stabbing my wife and snatched her necklace off and ran.”
‘I Want Justice’
The murder, he said, is disheartening for a number of reasons.
“For most people, the last thing you’re going to think about is that this person is about to take your life for a few dollars,” Keith Smith said.
The female suspect is in her 20s and around 5 feet tall with medium brown skin. The male accomplice is black, about 5 feet 10 inches tall. He has a medium build, was wearing a hoodie, and had a goatee.
“I just want justice. That’s it,” he said of the slaying. “I just want justice for my wife.”
Jacquelyn Smith worked as an electrical engineer at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
Baltimore police Commissioner Gary Tuggle described the killing “a heinous murder.” Officials don’t have any leads yet.
“They’re using this ruse as panhandlers to get the attention of their would-be victims,” Tuggle told the Sun. “We also want to caution the public about engaging with panhandlers and recognizing that not all of them have honest intent. Not all of them have real need.”