An 18-year-old man was arrested in the shooting death of Porsha Owens in Clayton, located in St. Louis County, reported The Associated Press. She was killed Monday as she was taking her kids to daycare in her car.
Owens worked as a school safety officer in a nearby school district, AP reported.
St. Louis Today reported that the suspect announced that he was going to rob her and opened fire as she turned toward him. As Owens lay mortally wounded near her children, he was unable to start her car and ran off instead.
Mark L. Haywood, of the Castle Point neighborhood in St. Louis County, was charged with robbery and murder, according to the publication. His bail was set at $1 million, cash-only.
Haywood apparently wanted her white Dodge Charger that he saw outside her home. He waited for the owner to go outside, officials said.
Haywood also stole Owens’s purse and phone, officials said.
Owens’s 8-year-old son provided the lone witness account to police, saying that a stranger approached his mother, pulled up his shirt to cover his face, and demanded, “Give me your money and your car keys,” according to police.
Owens was able to get up and walk after she was shot. She went to a neighbor’s house and got help before she collapsed.
“I hope the little kids overcome this when they have time to reflect on their mother,” said Fannie Mae King, the grandmother of Owens. “Their mother loved them and did everything with them.”
King said she doesn’t understand what Haywood was thinking.
“It’s sad that you can’t have anything in life that you want because somebody else wants it and will take your life to get it,” King said.
The Riverview Gardens School District said it’s offering counseling to staff.
“Officer Owens was a treasured member of the RGSD family, who worked diligently to build positive relationships with scholars and staff,” the district wrote in a Facebook post.
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