Mother killed during attempted robbery while unloading bags from car

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 1, 2015) – A woman was fatally shot early Monday morning in the 1400 block of South East Street during an attempted robbery.

Mark Williams says he and his girlfriend, 33-year old Hilary Acton of Clayton, were were unloading a carload of clothing from Goodwill in the 1400 block of South East Street around 1:15 Monday morning.  He told police two unidentified men approached them and demanded the items from their car.  One of the suspects was armed with a handgun.

Williams says neither he nor Acton resisted the suspects, but one of them fired his weapon, hitting Hilary Acton multiple times.  He says he yelled to his brother for help and chased the robbers down the sidewalk.

“I saw his eyes and he was scared when he shot her,” said Williams. “Then they ran and they turned left, then turned around and started shooting at me again.”

Witnesses told police the two suspect ran south down East Street before cutting through a yard and escaping the area near Cottage Avenue.

Williams was not hit, but Acton died from multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body, according to police.

“From my understanding they did not get anything from our victims,” said IMPD Lt. Richard Riddle.  “So it was attempted robbery that unfortunately ended with someone’s life.”

Joel Russell works at a nearby pizza place and called 911.

“I was standing at the back door and heard about seven, eight gunshots go off and some ricochets and I went out and called the police,” said Russell. “Looked down the street, you heard a lady screaming to help the person and I stayed on the phone with 911 until the police came down the road.”

The woman’s parents arrived on the scene around 4 a.m. They spoke about the mother of two.

“She was caring, honest. She was really striving to be who she was supposed to be,” Williams said.  “She loved her kids. She just wanted a family and she just wanted a start at life that was meaningful.”

He continued, “This isn’t right and it’s not over either, so I guess if anybody knows anything, I would just ask you to do the right thing. She was amazing and that should have been me, period. They’re cowards. They just started shooting. They didn’t even try to take the stuff. What was the point of that? I don’t even know them.”

Police do not have any suspects in custody at this time.

Unlike most homicides that involve people who know each other, investigators say this case may truly be a random act of deadly violence.

“At this point in the investigation, we don’t have any information to believe that they were in fact targeted directly, or by any association or known association with our suspects,” Riddle said.

Riddle said several witnesses who were in the area have given investigators helpful information about the suspects.  Detectives were also working to gather surveillance video from a Village Pantry convenience store directly across the street.

Detectives urge anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at (317) 262-TIPS (8477). Callers may also text “INDYCS” plus tip information to 274637 (CRIMES).

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