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Tranquil Day Shattered: Botched Robbery and Fatal Incident at Newport Beach Mall

Helicopter image of getaway car from Newport killing
Helicopter image of getaway car from Newport killing

In a shocking turn of events, a peaceful afternoon at the upscale Fashion Island mall in Newport Beach turned deadly on Tuesday, leaving the community reeling from the sudden eruption of violence. A botched robbery attempt resulted in the tragic death of 68-year-old Patricia McKay, a tourist from New Zealand, who was visiting the mall with her husband.

The couple was approached by two men near the Barnes & Noble bookstore, according to Newport Beach Police Sgt. Steven Oberon. The situation escalated quickly as a struggle ensued, and shots were fired. Fortunately, no one was struck by the bullets. In the chaos that followed, McKay was dragged into a parking lot and run over by a white Toyota Camry driven by a third suspect. The Newport Beach Police Department confirmed there were no other injuries reported.

Heather Rangel, a spokesperson for the LAPD, stated that the gun was fired three times but declined to reveal which suspect was responsible for the shooting or who drove the vehicle, citing the ongoing investigation.

Following the incident, the suspects fled the scene, leading police on a high-speed chase into Los Angeles County. The Camry, reaching speeds up to 110 mph, was captured on video by a television news helicopter as it sped along the 105 Freeway, at one point grazing the concrete center median. The pursuit ended in South Gate, where the suspects abandoned the vehicle and attempted to escape on foot. Police eventually apprehended all three suspects: 26-year-old Leroyernest Joseph McCrary of Compton, 18-year-old Jaden Cunningham of Lancaster, and 18-year-old Malachi Edward Darnell of Los Angeles. They were booked on suspicion of homicide, robbery with a firearm, and conspiracy.

The aftermath of the incident left the normally serene shopping center in shock. Shoppers and employees at Fashion Island described the scene as chaotic. One witness, who was shopping in the area at the time, referred to the situation as a “hullabaloo.” Another individual dining at Cucina Enoteca recounted how patrons were locked inside the restaurant as people outside screamed and ran, warning of an active shooter.

“This doesn’t happen in Newport Beach,” Mayor Will O’Neill told KCAL-TV News, expressing his anger and disbelief. “Fashion Island is an incredibly safe place. This is a tragedy, and I’m furious.”

As the investigation continues, the Newport Beach community mourns the loss of Patricia McKay and grapples with the reality of such a violent event occurring in their midst. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the unpredictability of life and the importance of community vigilance and support in the face of tragedy.

Source: LA Times


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