Misty Smith Walton was sitting with her husband in her Oakland, California, apartment on a quiet Saturday night when they heard their car alarm go off. Puzzled, the couple went outside to investigate the noise.
That’s when, police say, multiple shots rang out, hitting both of them. Her husband was injured, but Walton’s wounds proved fatal. She died at the scene.
The seemingly random crime has devastated the community, who are mourning the loss of Walton. She leaves behind two sons, ages 8 and 11. She was also six months pregnant with a long-awaited baby girl.
“She was about to have her little girl, finally,” her best friend, Johanna Hurtado, tells NBC News. In her interview, Hurtado talks about the shock of learning that her friend was gone. “I didn’t think it was real,” she said. “I called her, she wasn’t answering; she didn’t pick the phone. I knew it was real, everyone started to call me.”
Misty was the PTA president at Carl Munck Elementary School, where her younger son was a second grader. The school has called in mental health counselors to help students deal with their emotions about her murder.
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“This school is devastated,” school district spokesperson John Sasaki tells ABC 7 News. “Kids, parents, staff, everybody is in mourning. ‘Miss Misty,’ as she was known, was a beloved member of this community.”
“There was a faculty meeting before school started to let everyone know what was going on,” Sasaki continued. “I was in there for a few minutes and everyone is walking around kind of in a daze, hugging each other, lots of tears. It’s very difficult in there.”
Authorities say they have no suspects in her shooting, but are continuing to investigate.
Her friends have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for her surviving children, who are currently in the care of an aunt. “Misty Smith-Walton was taken from us by a senseless act of gun violence,” the family says. “Misty left a smile that will never go away.”