A Milwaukee mother of two who was teaching her teenage son to drive was killed in front of him in a road rage shooting after another motorist struck their vehicle from behind.
On Friday at about 5:15 p.m., Tracey Smith, 46, was riding in her car with her 17-year-old son at the wheel when their vehicle was struck from behind on a busy thoroughfare, the Milwaukee Police Department said in a statement on Twitter.
Smith, a sergeant with the state’s Department of Corrections, got out of the car at N. 51st Blvd. and W. Capitol Ave. and “confronted the driver,” say police in the statement.
“Words were exchanged and the [driver] of the striking vehicle pulled out a firearm and shot the passenger,” police allege.
Words were exchanged and the driving of the striking vehicle pulled out a firearm and shot the passenger, who is a 46 year old female. The suspect fled the scene and witnesses drove the victim to a local hospital.— Milwaukee Police (@MilwaukeePolice) September 2, 2019
The 35-year-old suspect, whom police have not publicly identified, allegedly fled the scene.
Witnesses rushed Smith to the hospital, where she died.
The suspect was arrested shortly after and remains in custody, say police.
No details about his arrest or his charges have been released. It was not immediately clear if he has entered a plea or retained an attorney.
As police investigate, Smith’s family is left to grapple with her senseless death.
“I don’t know what to say, but I know one thing, the way my daughter lost her life, it wasn’t right. It ain’t right,” Ollie Luckett, Smith’s father, told local station WISN.
He and other relatives said that Smith got out of the car to check her vehicle and was talking to the other driver when he allegedly shot her, ABC affiliate TMJ4 reports.
“That was a real weak-man move to sit there and shoot a lady in front of her son,” Sherri Luckett, Smith’s younger sister, told TMJ4. “What was she supposed to do? Sit there in the car hoping he fled the scene?”
Smith’s cousin, Cheryl Brown, told local station CBS 58, “You’re the one that caused the accident, but then you’re mad and you take her life and then you just drive away like it was nothing?”
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At the time of her death, Smith was raising her two sons while helping her sister care for their father, who is battling cancer.
“It was supposed to be me and her helping my dad,” Sherri Luckett told TMJ4. “She’s the yin to my yang.”
The Milwaukee Police Department and the Wisconsin Department of Corrections did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.