September 6, 2019 at 10:39 AM CDT
Updated September 9 at 11:54 AM
PEMISCOT COUNTY, Mo. (Heartland News at 9) - A woman who was shot on Highway 412 in what the sheriff called a “random act" has died according to the Missouri Highway Patrol.
Sgt. Clark Parrott with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said the woman is identified as Carey L. Taylor, 42. The mother of at least one child is from Caruthersville, Mo.
Pemiscot County Sheriff Tommy Greenwell said they got the call at 9:06 a.m. on Friday, September 6. He said a man and a woman were driving on Highway 412, near the Route U overpass, near Caruthersville.
Sheriff Greenwell said officials believe the homicide was possibly brought on by road rage based on statements made by the couple after the incident.
According to Sgt. Clark Parrott with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, a car came up behind the couple at a high rate of speed and tailgated them. The car then passed them on the other lane and slowed down. When the victims’ car came up next to the suspect’s car, Sgt. Parrott said she and her husband heard gunshots.
They pulled over and saw she had been shot. She was later airlifted to a Sikeston hospital. Sgt. Clark Parrott with the Missouri State Highway Patrol confirms the victim died from her injuries.
According to Sgt. Parrott, the suspect car kept going westbound on Hwy. 412.
In a release from MSHP officials, the vehicle is described as dark blue or black, sport utility vehicle. Video surveillance appears to show the vehicle as a 2000-2006 GMC Yukon with possible chrome strip on both sides.
Authorities do not think this was a widespread incident. "We get calls a lot of road rage, you know car tailgating, speeding, making bad passes, but I can’t recall of one where shots have been fired in an instance like this,” said Sgt. Parrott. “At this point we don’t believe there’s any reason to believe that his is a widespread incident.”
"Somebody saw that car leave, and we need to talk to them so that we can find out what happened,” added Sgt. Parrott.
Nancy Hutchinson is the principal at Caruthersville High School. She says the school district went on a soft lock down after hearing about the shooting along Highway 412 in Pemiscot County.
"Because always students have to go to the bathroom or they have to go to the library or they have to go back to their locker for things like that, and we just try to curtail that in a soft lock down so that we keep more of an eye on the students, because we don’t know what’s happening outside the school doors,” she said.
She says the school office received several phone calls from concerned parents. But the building is always secured for situations like this one.
“All of our teachers close their doors, lock them every day” she said. “We have to have a key to get in. Students who leave to go to the bathroom have to be let back in the room, the doors are not open. We also have cameras in every room.”
Sheriff Tommy Greenwell called it a “random act.” He said the couple told authorities they did not know the shooter.
As a precaution, schools in the Pemiscot County area were on lock down while officials search for the suspect. That lock down was later lifted, but Sgt. Parrott said the Caruthersville School District was on a soft lockdown until the end of the day.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol, Caruthersville Police Department and Pemiscot County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.