Shelly Frey, 27, was shot and killed by an off-duty sheriff’s deputy at a Houston, TX., Walmart. The deputy was suspicious of Frey, saying he thought she was stealing from the store, reports UK Daily Mail.
Harris County Sheriff’s deputies said that Shelly Frey, Tisa Andrews and Yolanda Craig were shoplifting when they were stopped by Louis Campbell, a 26-year veteran of the force, who is employed as a security guard at Walmart.
Campbell said that the women dashed to their car, and when he went to open their car door, they drove away. Campbell then thought it was his duty to stop the perpetrators so he fired the deadly shot into the car which hit Frey in the neck.
Security at the store noticed the three women putting items into their purses and notified Campbell, who was working an extra job that night.
The three shoplifters tried to pay for some small items to serve as a cover for the ones they planned to steal.
Campbell opened Frey’s car door and told her to get out, after he chased her and the other two women to the car, but she refused, said officials.
Andrews started to drive away while the deputy was standing between the open door and the driver’s seat.
“She threw it in reverse and tried to run over the deputy,” said Harris County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Deputy Thomas Gilliland.
Gilliland said, “He confronted the suspects at exit of the store before they left. One female wouldn’t stop, struck the deputy with her purse, ran off.” He added, “I think it knocked him off balance and, in fear of his life and being ran over, he discharged his weapon at that point.”
Officials said that there were two small children in the vehicle at the time of the incident, although they were not Frey’s, who is a mother of two.
“He was clearly marked in uniform as a Harris County deputy. And identified himself as the suspects were leaving the establishment,” said Gilliland regarding Campbell.
Even with Frey wounded, the women still fled, but they stopped at The Worthington at the Beltway apartments in the 1300 block of Greens Parkway. Frey was pronounced dead at the scene when paramedics arrived.
“Shelly was the perfect mom, perfect friend, perfect daughter,” said her father, Shelton Frey.
“Why couldn’t you just shoot the tire, shoot the window?” said her mother Sharon Wilkerson. “Was it that serious?”
Sharon said that even if Frey did shoplift, she didn’t deserve to die. She is now concerned for Frey’s children.
Andrews and Craig have both been charged with shoplifting. A small price to pay when their friend was shot to death.
As for deputy Campbell, he is on three days paid leave for standard protocol. The Harris County Sheriff’s Homicide Unit, Office of the Inspector General and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office will investigate this horrific incident. The case will go in front of a grand jury.
Walmart said in a statement:
“This is a tragic situation and we recognize this is a difficult time for all parties involved. We’re committed to working with law enforcement and providing any information we have as they determine the facts of the case. Because this is an active investigation, any specific details of the incident should come from law enforcement. We hire off duty officers to provide security to some of our stores. While we have policies in place for our associates to disengage from situations that might put them or others in harm’s way, off-duty officers working at a WM store are authorized to act in accordance with their department’s code of conduct.”