A Pennsylvania teacher and mother was tragically killed in what authorities are describing as a “targeted murder” while she waited in line at a Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru with her young son in the Philadelphia suburbs.
Rachel King, 35, was fatally shot on April 11 around 7:40 a.m. at the Melrose Shopping Center in Cheltenham, according to a press release from the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.
Responding officers discovered King’s lifeless body in the driver’s seat of her black Ford Edge, which had come to a stop on a parking island near the drive-thru lane. The shooting occurred while King’s 11-year-old son was in the back seat. However, the boy was not injured.
Authorities reported that King was driving her SUV westbound on Cheltenham Avenue when she entered the shopping center and joined the line of traffic in the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru.
A light-colored sedan, possibly a Ford or a Mercury, was seen following King’s vehicle and parking a short distance from the drive-thru lane. A Black male then exited the sedan, approached the driver’s side of King’s vehicle, and fired multiple shots through the window before fleeing the scene.
An autopsy confirmed that King died from multiple gunshot wounds and that her death was a homicide. District Attorney Kevin R. Steele emphasized in the release that the suspect did not attempt to open the victim’s vehicle door or communicate with her prior to the shooting, suggesting it was a targeted murder.
King had been a teacher at Grover Cleveland Elementary School for over a decade. A GoFundMe page was created to help her family with funeral expenses, describing the profound impact her loss has had on her family, friends, colleagues, and students. Mastery Charter Schools confirmed King’s tragic death in a statement to Fox29, expressing their devastation at the loss of an extraordinary teacher.
Authorities describe the shooter as having a thin build. He was wearing light pants and a dark hoodie at the time. Anyone with information that’s relevant to the investigation is urged to contact the Cheltenham Township Police Department.