Texas teen carjacker brutally shoots woman to death while she was sitting in her car on her driveway
DALLAS, TEXAS: A 16-year-old boy will be facing a charge of capital murder in the shooting death of 59-year-old Leslie Baker, who was found lifeless in her driveway this week.
According to Dallas law enforcement, the juvenile was one of three suspects apprehended on the night of May 27 after a high-speed chase on the 1100 block of Deerwood Drive in South Oak Cliff. The suspects were reportedly found in a shed.
Authorities also recovered two handguns from the shed, one of which was the murder weapon.
Police said the suspects were under surveillance for the alleged carjacking of a business owner in Richardson the night after Baker was shot to death in front of her Royalton Drive home, CBS DFW reported.
The teenaged suspect was later tied to the Richardson incident and yet another one in Dallas, authorities said.
They also revealed how the suspect had bragged about stealing the Richardson business owner's vehicle online just hours before he was tracked down.
According to the report, Baker was the director of marketing at Texas Health Center for Diagnostics and Surgery. She was known to almost everyone in the community, many of whom remembered her as a beloved friend, neighbor, wife, and a mother-of-two.
“It’s pretty sick to think that juveniles have just no remorse that they would just unload a gun into a 59-year-old innocent woman sitting in her car,” Candace Evans, a nearby homeowner, told the outlet.
“We were sitting in our patio around 5 o’clock. It was Memorial Day, so we were having hot dogs,” recalled neighbor Dee Birdwell. “And we just heard a loud, I’m gonna say, pop at this time because we didn’t realize it could have been a shot. But that’s what we heard.”
Baker was reportedly on the phone with a friend while sitting in her car on the driveway. The friend who was at the other end of the line told authorities they heard her say she was being robbed, before the phone went silent. Meanwhile, family members inside Baker's home reportedly heard nothing.
“Around five, I heard a series of pops that sounded like a gun,” said neighbor Eddie Jenkins, who heard the gunshots. “First, it was a loud boom, and then a second, following that then a rapid ‘Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow!’”
According to police, surveillance footage from security cameras at nearby homes were helpful in identifying a car spotted in the neighborhood shortly before Baker's death. The suspects, according to sources, targeted random victims and engaged in violent crimes including murder.
That said, the 16-year-old suspect was placed in detention at the Wade Juvenile Justice Center in Dallas.
The Bakers were much loved in the neighborhood.
“Leslie and Robert threw the first big parties that the neighborhood had here years and years ago,” Bob Buschardt recalled to Fox 4. “They had Dickey’s Barbecue out here, and the whole street was party central.”
Meanwhile, Steve and Susan Stoler, who have known the Bakers' for years, also mourned her untimely demise.
“Always had a smile on her face. Very approachable,” Susan said. “Always made you feel so warm and always feeling like she was your friend.”
“These terrible tragedies and crimes happen all the time,” Steve told Fox 4. “Sometimes you take for granted who’s touched by those tragedies until it happens to someone who’s close to you.”
Authorities are yet to release further information on the other suspects who were arrested.