‘Happy and Loving’ N.C. Mom Is Killed by Stranger, and Motive Is Mystery
On Tuesday afternoon, emergency dispatchers in Rowan County, North Carolina, received a call from a driver who was headed to the hospital because his friend had been shot multiple times in the car.
The victim, My’a Miller, 19, who has a 10-month-old son, was subsequently pronounced dead at the Novant Rowan Medical Center in Salisbury, North Carolina, according to a press release issued by the Salisbury Police Department.
The driver, Leroy Truesdale, told local news station WSOC that they were at a stop light when a car allegedly driven by Jeffrey Hooker Jr. pulled up beside them.
“[He] waved and she waved back and we didn’t think much of it,” Truesdale said. “She didn’t know him. Neither one of us did. I’ve never seen this man a day in my life.”
A few blocks later, Hooker allegedly got out of his car, walked up to Miller’s window and began shooting before driving off, Truesdale said.
At about 9:15 p.m., dispatchers received several 911 calls about a separate shooting where witnesses described a man shooting into a vehicle and home, according to the press release.
“Officers were in the area and quickly spotted a vehicle that matched the suspect’s vehicle from the homicide and conducted a traffic stop and took Jeffrey Wayne Hooker Jr, age 32 of Salisbury, into custody for shooting into an occupied vehicle,” the press release stated.
Hooker was eventually charged with murder and a second count of shooting into an occupied vehicle. He is currently being held in Rowan County Jail without bond.
It wasn’t immediately clear if he has entered a plea or retained an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
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Truesdale and members of her family are wondering why a stranger would want to kill Miller, leaving her son without his mother.
“Every time I’d see her, it was her and her son and they were always so happy and loving,” Truesdale told the local station. “She was always there for me. She was there for a lot of people. She didn’t bother anybody.”
The news station reports that investigators are still trying to determine a motive. PEOPLE’s call to the police department was not immediately returned.
A GoFundMe page has been launched to help the family with funeral expenses.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Salisbury-Rowan Crime Stopper Hotline at 1-866-639-5245.
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