An armed robbery at a Kearns video store took a bizarre and tragic twist Friday night when a gunman shot and killed a pregnant woman customer in front of her three children as he made his getaway.
Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Bernard Bailey said the gunman entered the Voyager Video, 5448 S. 4220 West, at 8:40 p.m. He milled around for a few minutes then turned to the clerk and demanded cash.The clerk complied, Bailey said, but the robber grumbled about wanting more money. He turned to leave, but as he left he pulled out a small caliber, silver-colored handgun, put it to the woman's head and pulled the trigger.
Witnesses told Bailey the man then said, "That'll take care of her."
In addition to the children, whose ages ranged between 5 and 13, and the clerk, about eight other people witnessed the shooting. All said the shooting was unprovoked.
The woman, who is believed to be from the Kearns area, was first taken to Pioneer Valley Hospital and later transported by helicopter to the University Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 9:36 p.m., said Lynn Evans, the hospital's nursing supervisor.
She said the woman's child, a girl, was delivered by Caesarean section and was in critical condition. The supervisor said the baby was about 32-34 weeks along, which is almost full-term, but was suffering from lack of oxygen.
The woman's children were taken to Pioneer Valley Hospital where they were met by an uncle and a neighbor. The victim's husband was reportedly on a Boy Scout camping trip on Stansbury Island and was finally located late Friday.
Witnesses believe the man fled in a large, older model white car, although no one actually saw him get into the car. He was described as in his 30s or 40s, about 6 feet tall with graying hair and wearing a plaid shirt and blue jeans. The amount of cash taken in the robbery is undetermined.
Police were searching for the gunman Friday night and were preparing a composite drawing from witness descriptions.