HOUSTON — Authorities are throwing the book at a woman who allegedly killed an innocent driver and injured three children when she crashed her getaway car during a police chase Thursday.
Shiquinta Franklin, 21, was charged with murder, evading arrest and accident involving and injury and death.
It all began around 3:25 p.m. when police in Humble, located about 23 miles northeast of Houston in Harris County, received a call about a theft in progress at Macy’s inside Deerbrook Mall located in the 20000 block of Highway 59.
Police said three women exited the store with over $2,600 worth of stolen merchandise and got into a red Dodge Avenger.
When police officers pulled up behind the vehicle and activated their emergency lights and sirens, the driver fled south on Highway 59 toward Houston, police said.
Officers chased the vehicle on Highway 59 until the suspects eventually exited the freeway at Quitman, where the suspects ran a red light and broadsided the driver’s side of a vehicle traveling eastbound, police said.
The impact from the suspect's vehicle caused the other vehicle, which was carrying one woman and three children, to flip onto its hood. The female driving the car was pronounced dead on the scene and the three children were transported to Ben Taub Hospital in critical condition.
Franklin and the other two suspects were taken to Ben Taub Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
"The woman jumped out of the car and tried to run away and they caught her," said West Carrier, a witness.
Franklin’s mother said her daughter has never been in trouble before.
"She’s not a murderer, you know?" said Ayonia Barnett. "They’re going to look at it their way; I’m going to look at it my way."
The suspects with Franklin, including one identified as 21-year-old Raquel Gonzales, were charged with theft. Gonzales’ aunt offered condolences to the victim’s family.
“We’re just so sorry for the person that lost their life because it could have been the other way around, they could have lost their lives today,” LaShanda Reece said.
Franklin's bond was set at $155,000.