VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A homicide investigation is underway after a 65-year-old woman was shot and killed Monday during an attempted robbery at a Harris Teeter gas station on Haygood Road in Virginia Beach.
Virginia Beach Police said they responded around 5:15 p.m. to the gas station in the 4600-block of Haygood Road for a report of a person with gunshot wounds.
Officers arrived and located the victim, identified on Tuesday as 65-year-old Annie May Smith. The Virginia Beach resident died from her injuries at the scene.
“I think everyone is just shook to the core,” said Brandon Stokes, who owns a nearby business and heard the gunshots. “It was really shocking and scary.”
Police were looking for a Lexus ES-300 with yellow license plates in connection with the incident. It was eventually recovered, and police said it had been previously reported stolen.
Police believed there could have been two males in the car, but did not give information about possible clothing or ages of the suspects. They did say the shooting appeared to have happened during an attempted robbery.
“What I heard was like three shots… within a couple of minutes, the cops were here,” said Felipe Torres, who works in the shopping plaza. “It’s crazy. Like I said, you’re just pumping gas and it changes your life within seconds.”
10 On Your Side obtained surveillance video from the Plaza Azteca restaurant across the street from the gas station. It is not high quality, but appears to show someone approaching the victim’s vehicle.
The local business community is planning a moment of silence in Smith’s honor for Monday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. at the gas station.
“These people’s lives have changed, for just getting gas. That’s it,” said Stokes. “They weren’t doing nothing wrong, they weren’t speeding, they didn’t get in an argument, they didn’t have road rage. They were literally getting gas. And you’re what, 14, 12 days away from Christmas? I don’t know the math. Their whole lives, their kids’ lives, their grandkids’ lives, their neighbors, it’s all now taken from them over what, a wallet and some cash?”
Stokes says some business owners also plan to donate money to help the family.