Law student killed while suspect flees from police

October 19, 2011 3:37:40 PM PDT
Police are searching for the man they say killed a woman while trying to run from officers Tuesday night. The suspect went through a red light and slammed into another car killing a law student from Texas Southern University.

Police have been talking to a passenger in the suspect's vehicle, but at this point they can't say whether they've been able to even get a name on the driver. The suspect fled on foot just seconds after the wreck.

At the scene of the crash, a memorial grows now for a life which will blossom no longer.

"Really big plans for the future and she was a very ambitious girl and she'll be missed," said Olivia Mathias, one of the victim's best friends.

Halley Catherine Shaw, 27, was killed Tuesday night. She was in the back seat of a Nissan Altima that was struck by a vehicle which police say ran a red light here at Dowling and Cleburne. The woman who called 9-1-1 prays today.

Among the tears, there were memories of Shaw's smile.

"Always had the biggest smile on her face. Everybody knows if you ask anything about Catherine, she's just always laughing," Mathias said.

Investigators say the wreck happened at about 11:20pm. Officers responded to a suspicious vehicle call in the 3900 block of Hamilton and were chasing a Buick LeSabre whose driver refused to stop.

Shaw was a second year student at TSU's Thurgood Marshall Law School. Students there are in mourning.

"She will be missed both as a friend and as a peer in the classroom," said TSU student Phillip Larmond.

TSU Law School Dean Dannye Holley spoke with students Wednesday afternoon to inform them of the news. Holley said there are plans pending for a service at this time.

"Miss Shaw was bright and full of life and losing someone like Miss Shaw is very difficult to live with," the dean said in a statement.

TSU says students are planning to set up a memorial fund in Shaw's name and that grief counselors are on hand at the University all day Wednesday.

According to the university, law school students are also planning to remember Shaw during homecoming this weekend, where TSU says they will walk as a group holding pictures and a banner of Shaw.

You don't need to study law though, fellow students say, to know that justice for Shaw is yet to be done.

At this point, police have not made any arrests in this case. Anyone with information in this case is urged to contact the HPD Hit and Run Unit at 713-247-4065 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

Earlier developments

Police have been searching for the suspect since late Tuesday night. That's when the suspect slammed into a vehicle carrying three people at the intersection of Dowling at Cleburne.

The wreck just south of downtown killed second year TSU law student Halley Catherine Shaw, 27. who was in the back seat, sent two people to the hospital, and according to police, sent the driver who caused it on the run. It also got the attention of neighbors.

"All the lights were flashing; the ambulances and the police cars were just flashing their lights," said resident Pierre Monette.

"I said, 'I can help you,' and he said, 'Help me with the lady. I think she's dead,'" said resident Diane Metevia.

Police told Eyewitness News the trouble began about a half mile away when an officer went to check on a report of a suspicious vehicle. Police told the two men inside over their PA system to step out, and the passenger tried to do so, but was dragged and injured when the driver took off.

"The suspect that was on the original scene came down at a high rate of speed running the red light, and crashed into another citizen's car and caused a fatality in the vehicle," said Sgt. Craig Bigger.

The officer stayed to help the injured man. Another officer just a short time later came upon a crash.

"It was heartbreaking and I was very upset. I just couldn't bear to keep looking at it. And all my prayers and thoughts go out to the family," said Metevia.

Police are still looking for the suspect and they believe he lives in the area.

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