Jennifer Jones is dead all because the 32-year-old woman cut off another motorist while traveling in Kansas City, the woman's family said Thursday.
"It makes me angry that someone could do that to her," Jones' cousin, Julie Heiman, told KCTV5. "She was at the wrong place at the wrong time."
Police say that Jones was the victim of apparent road rage. Police believe another woman driving the suspect vehicle may have fired the fatal shot or if she didn't then someone in her vehicle did. A man may have also been in the vehicle.
Jones was traveling in a van near Elmwood Avenue and Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard just before 6 p.m. Wednesday. Her boyfriend and a male friend were her passengers.
A traffic dispute turned to verbal words, then violence.
"She cut someone off and they cut off her," Heiman said. "And then it happened. They argued for a while and then the other person started shooting."
One of the bullets struck Jones in the lower back. Her last words were that she had been hit. A deputy for the Jackson County Medical Examiner's Office told the victim's family that she bled out quickly at the scene, where she died.
Police say the suspect vehicle was a maroon SUV, possibly a Ford Expedition or Explorer. The vehicle was built in the early part of the last decade and had tinted windows and no tags, witnesses said.
Heiman and those who loved Jones say she had a warm heart and did not deserve such a cold-hearted action.
"She was outgoing. She was happy," Heiman said.
Jones is survived by three children.
"They can't see her again because she's gone," a grief-stricken Heiman said. "She had a good heart. She really had a good heart. She'd do anything for anybody."
Though this shooting is not believed to be connected to other homicides, the string of killings in January certainly pains police in its larger impact.
"It's troubling to us because there's this many people out who think this is an appropriate way to solve a problem," said Kansas City police spokesman Capt. Steve Young. "It's a police problem. It's a church community problem. It's a neighborhood organization problem. If this is what people think, it's everybody's problem."
Police did get some witness accounts, but with the level of traffic at that hour, there may be more people out there who know something that could be helpful.
Police are asking if you have any information to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.
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