Walmart security guard shoots mother-of-two shoplifting suspect Shelly Frey dead
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A 27-year-old mother of two has been fatally shot by an off-duty sheriff's deputy after he suspected her of shoplifting at a Houston Walmart.
Harris County Sheriff's deputies have said that victim Shelly Frey, Tisa Andrews and Yolanda Craig were stealing when they were confronted by Louis Campbell a 26-year veteran of the force who works as a security guard at the store.
According to Campbell the women ran to their car and when he rushed to open the door, they accelerated away - at which point he fired the deadly shot into the car which hit Frey in the neck.
Security at the store on the 14000 block of the North Freeway had noticed the three women 'stuffing items inside their purses' and notified Campbell, who was working an extra job that evening.
Investigators with Harris County said the three women even attempted to pay for some small items to act as a cover for the shoplifted ones.
After chasing Frey and the other two women to their car, Campbell opened the door and commanded them to stop, but the car was placed in drive and moved forward.
'I think it knocked him off balance and, in fear of his life and being ran over, he discharged his weapon at that point,' said Thomas Gilliland, Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
Tiasa Andrews, Yolanda Craig were arrested at 1300 block of Greens Parkway where their friend Shelly Frey had died from her gunshot wounds
Inside the car as it was speeding away were two small children - investigators have said that they were not Frey's children.
Gilliland said it was clear that the deputy was law enforcement.
'He was clearly marked in uniform as a Harris County deputy. And identified himself as the suspects were leaving the establishment,' said Gilliland to KHOU.Com
Despite the shooting, the women fled but eventually they stopped at The Worthington at the Beltway apartments in the 1300 block of Greens Parkway.
Paramedics from the Houston Fire Department arrived to try and save Frey, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.
'Shelly was the perfect mom, perfect friend, perfect daughter,' said her father, Shelton Frey.
He said that his daughter had moved to Houston after Hurricane Katrina to start a new life, but the amount of work she could do was limited by her two-year-old who has sickle cell anemia.
The deceased's mother Sharon Wilkerson was devastated that the deputy fired into a car with two small children inside and killed her daughter
'Why couldn’t you just shoot the tire, shoot the window?' said her mother Sharon Wilkerson. 'Was it that serious?'
She added that even if her daughter had committed a crime, she did not deserve to die and she worries now for her two young grandchildren.
'How do I tell these children she's not coming back,' said Sharon.
'To me, it should never (have) happened. I wish the officer didn’t shoot her. I wish he shot her tires just to slow her down. That’s a mother you know. And now they have to figure out what to do with the kids,' said Angel Gaines, a neighbor.
Kesha Sapp, a woman who knew Frey, agreed.
'What that look like with him shooting with the darn kids in the car? There were kids in the car with them. Why is he shooting at the car? Come on now, that makes him look bad. That don’t even look right,' said Sapp.
Both Andrews and Craig, the two other women allegedly involved, have been charged with shoplifting.
Tragically, Frey wasn't even supposed to be at a Walmart that evening.
Earlier in the year she pleaded guilty to stealing shirts and a package of meat from another Walmart and as part of her plea arrangement she agreed to never enter Walmart stores again.