In what certainly appears like a case of “not necessary,” 27-year-old Shelly Frey was shot and killed by an off-duty deputy after he suspected the Houston mother of two had shoplifted.
Frey was reportedly perusing the Walmart with friends Tiasa Andrews and Yolanda Craig when Louis Campbell, a 26-year veteran of the force, approached the ladies about shoplifting. The trio then ran off into the parking lot where Campbell followed them. The chase escalated to the point that Frey got into her car to speed away and Campbell followed. Shortly after, he fired, striking Fey in the neck. He claims that he eventually drew his gun because he was “between the car door and the driver’s seat and feared for his safety.”
But considering that Frey was not armed herself, her mother has a pretty reasonable response:
“Why couldn’t you just shoot the tire, shoot the window?” she asked. “Was it that serious?”
Even if her daughter did commit a crime, Wilkerson said she did not deserve to die—or for her two young grandchildren to lose their mother.
Bear in mind, too, that there were two young children in the car that Frey hopped into — although reportedly not her own.
After hearing about what happened to their daughter, the Freys drove straight to Houston from New Orleans, where Frey had previously lived herself before Hurricane Katrina. But investigators have yet to contact the family, or even let them see their daughter’s body. Shelly’s mother is plagued with questions as to why Campbell felt the need to fire:
“I can’t eat, I can’t sleep—I just need to know,” her mother Sharon Wilkerson said.
Court documents show that Shelly Frey had pleaded guilty to shoplifting shirts and a package of meat from Walmart in early 2012. As part of her plea agreement, she reportedly agreed to avoid all Walmart locations.
Shelton Frey, Shelly’s dad, describes his daughter as “the perfect mom, perfect friend, perfect daughter.” But he adds that she suffered from financial hardship due to his 2-year-old granddaughter’s battle with sickle cell anemia. Such details illuminate why Shelly may have felt compelled to violate that plea agreement.