Elderly woman killed while unloading groceries

November 15, 2009 8:38:08 PM PST
A 79-year-old woman is shot and killed just feet from the front door of her home. Neighbors want to know why.The woman was attacked off Barker Cypress and Morton Ranch Road in west Harris County Saturday. The 79-year-old woman was killed while unloading groceries and police say they have no motive.

One neighbor believes she was approached by the suspect minutes before the killing. Jennifer, who asks we change her first name, was unloading groceries around 3pm Saturday when a man approached her.

"He said, 'Do you mind if I help you put some groceries away? We can do it in one round.' I said, 'No, no,' because I just got married. I said, 'My husband will help me get the rest but thank you,'" recalled eyewitness Jennifer.

While he walked away Jennifer says she shut the trunk and quickly went to the apartment she shares with her husband Ron.

"The police told me he wanted in an apartment but they don't really know what he wanted," she said.

Within an hour she heard sirens in the parking lot and learned her neighbor had just been killed while unloading groceries. Sheriff's deputies say 79-year-old Muriel Kirkpatrick was shot near her SUV. The motive is a mystery.

"I don't think this was a robbery because I saw her purse still in the back of her trunk," said neighbor Cynarra Nauls.

The crime has left neighbors very uneasy in this gated apartment complex.

"It's crazy because she was obviously somebody's grandmother," said neighbor Stephanie Nunez. "We live here, our children play outside 24/7 and now I don't even want them outside."

Jennifer has been interviewed by investigators and says she has thought a lot about the victim today and how it might have been her.

"I asked police what saved me from being in that same situation as that woman. They said it could have been you mentioned your husband, there were kids outside washing a dog. It could have been a variety of things," she said.

Investigators are still working on a description and talking with eyewitnesses at the apartment complex. Harris County sheriff's homicide detectives are asking anyone with information to please call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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