June 21, 2016

Camden, NJ High School Students Sneak Out of School, Steal Car, Kill Grandmother, Return to School

Tia Walker, 53, of Camden, New Jersey (let and right) was killed after she was struck by a car driven by a 16-year-old boy in a hit-and-run crash in April, police said. She leaves behind two children and three grandchildren.

[From article]
A 16-year-old boy and another teen reportedly slipped out of school unnoticed, stole an unlocked car and killed a grandmother in a hit-and-run before at least one returned to school after the ordeal.
On April 25, classes had not begun at Camden High School in New Jersey when the teens sneaked out of the building without any of the school's 11 security guards noticing, Philly.com reported.
After making their exit that morning, the male teens spotted an unlocked silver Cadillac DeVille half a mile from the school, hopped in and started cruising around Camden's streets, police said.
At some point during their joyride the car was reported stolen, and when an officer started following the vehicle, the 16-year-old behind the wheel suddenly accelerated, police said.
As the car took off, it struck 53-year-old pedestrian Tia Walker, who at the time was crossing the street as she walked home after cleaning the house of an elderly relative, according to Philly.com.
The boys abandoned the car at a nearby median, fled the scene on foot and at least one returned to the high school, authorities said.
Walker was transported to Cooper University Hospital where she died the next day.
The 16-year-old boy has since been arrested and charged with first-degree aggravated manslaughter among other charges.
It is not clear if the other teen will face charges and neither of their names have been released because they are juveniles.
Meanwhile, Walker's relatives are still trying to cope with her loss.
'I don't know what's worse: that we had to bury our sister or that these perpetrators were children,' Walker's brother, Brother Minister Wasim Muhammad, who also is a member of the Camden school board, told Philly.com.
'I just don't know which is the greater tragedy.'
While sad by such a tragic loss, Muhammad said he has forgiven the teens.
'These are misguided young people,' he told Philly.com.
'It's just a fact that it wasn't intentional. They weren't targeting my sister.'
Walker was a long-time Camden resident and for many years was a maintenance worker in City Hall, and also worked as a day-care aide, according to Philly.com.
She leaves behind two children and three grandchildren.
'She was just a beautiful soul,' her 23-year-old son, Juan Walker told Philly.com.
'She never had an enemy or any problems with anyone.'
Her daughter, Taneeyah, is getting married later this year and Walker had already picked out her dress for the special occasion. Her family said she was buried wearing it.
Following the incident, the schools spokesman said the district is working with prosecutor's office and the local law enforcement following the incident.
'We're pained by the tragic loss of a Camden resident,' Schools spokesman Brendan Lowe said.
Lowe also noted that the school is working to improve security at high schools across the district.


New Jersey teens 'slipped out of their high school unnoticed, stole an unlocked car, killed a grandmother in hit-and-run crash, then went back to school'
A 16-year-old boy and another teen reportedly sneaked out of their high school and stole an unlocked car nearby in April
They then cruised the street's of a New Jersey city before they were followed by police and the driver suddenly accelerated, police said
That's when the car struck 53-year-old pedestrian Tia Walker as she crossed the street; she died the next day in hospital
The male teens abandoned the car and fled the scene on foot before at least one returned to school, authorities said
The 16-year-old has since been charged with first-degree aggravated manslaughter among other charges
PUBLISHED: 11:08 EST, 19 June 2016 | UPDATED: 12:10 EST, 19 June 2016

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