An Arizona mom driving with her husband and pregnant daughter was shot dead in what appears to be a horrifying road rage incident, Phoenix police said on Friday. Stella Montes, 38, was shot by a hail of bullets and was found wounded in a vehicle that had crashed into a road-side wall on Thursday.
It is not known what sparked the road rage incident but reports say the suspect fired at least 10 rounds with multiple shots hitting Montes. Montes was rushed to a hospital but succumbed to her injuries. The suspect is on the run and police has launched a manhunt.
According to police, when officers reached the scene Montes was profusely bleeding from several gunshot wounds to her body and the vehicle had crashed into a roadside wall. She was behind the wheels of the SUV along with her pregnant daughter and husband.
Police suspect it to be an incident of road rage that went horribly wrong. She "was shot by a person in another vehicle after a traffic altercation," police said.
A witness who lives near the crash site near Seventh Avenue and Beardsley Road in north Phoenix said she heard eight to 10 shots before the crash. "I felt my whole house vibrate when the van hit the wall," she said.
Police still don't have any information about the gunman or the make of the vehicle he was driving. Brooke Raspa, a woman who lives on the other side of the wall where the Montes' car crashed told azfamily.comthat the victim's daughter was at the scene and believed it was road rage.
Raspa said that the suspect probably got furious after Montes honked at him and then overtook him. "They honked at him to go, not realizing that it was no turn on red and then they decided to go around him and that angered him, apparently. So he drove by and probably emptied a whole clip," Raspa said.
It is still unclear why the shooter got angry, as it is still not known if the people in the two vehicles exchanged any words. Moreover, it sounds quite weird that a person will shoot someone just for honking and then going around that person.
"You have to be a very angry person to even have the mindset to ... kill this person because they went around me," Raspa said. "I mean, who does that? And to take someone's life because of it is so sad to me."
Raspa also said that second after Montes was shot she could hear someone screaming for help. When she came out she found her pregnant daughter crying for help but by that time the shooter had fled.
"We went up over the hill and the lady was stuck in the vehicle and we were trying to pull her out and the police showed up and told us to get out of the way and he started CPR immediately," Raspa said.
However, Motes wasn't responding and she was rushed to hospital where she died after sometime.
Police have launched an investigation and is looking for the shooter. "This investigation is in the preliminary stages. Detectives are working to determine more information about what led up to the incident," police explained in a statement on Friday.