Vanessa Bobo: California mom executed in front of her 2 kids; boyfriend arrested
Vanessa Bobo was headed for big things in life. The California mother originally from Arkansas already achieved some of them, she had two beautiful children that she doted on daily.
Her family was very proud of her. She was the first of them to attend a four-year college, receiving a full track and field scholarship to Cal State-Los Angeles.
In the Lake Murray apartment she shared with her boyfriend, police said, Vanessa Bobo was shot dead in front of her two children after a verbal confrontation on Tuesday, October 11, 2016.
Her boyfriend, Roderick Lamar Harris, 32, fled the scene but was subsequently arrested after a massive regional manhunt.
"Officers began CPR and other life-saving methods, but they were unfortunately it wasn't enough and she passed away at the scene," Lt. Manny Del Toro told reporters at a news conference Tuesday.
"While this occurred there were two children present -- a 5-year-old and a 1-year-old -- who we believe witnessed the event," Del Toro said.
The search for the boyfriend came to its conclusion after several hours. Del Toro said when apprehended, police noticed that he appeared to have previous injuries, including a deep cut.
"We don't know if they were self-inflicted or if he received those in flight," he said. In any event, he said, Harris is going to be processed and booked on one count of murder.
First responders tried to comfort the traumatized children, Del Toro said.
“The kids were crying pretty intently,” Del Toro said, according to the San Diego Union Tribune. “The sheer noise of the gunshots brings terror to a small child.”
Unfortunately, the 5-year-old was the one who had to identify the gunman, he said.
Harris and Bobo planned to marry July 1, 2017, according to the Tribune. The couple even had a wedding page, which has been since deleted, on Honeyfund.com.
Vanessa's family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with raising her children. It reads in part:
"Vanessa leaves behind 2 beautiful sons 5yr old Bruce Tone III and 11month Old Brady Gatlin Harris, three sisters Latoiya Robinson, and Twin sisters Brandi Baker & Beverly PridgenHoward, and is survived by both parents Brady and Maria Bobo. Her grandmother(Lola) Emilia Dejesus and a host of extended family and Close friends."
Harris, whose arraignment had been postponed so that his injuries could heal, appeared in court on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 and pleaded not guilty.
His bail was set at $3 million against the wishes of the prosecution, who wanted a $4 million bail.
“I think it sends a message that if you do such a callous and (kind of ) heartless crime such as this murder, and you do so in front of two small children, some of your own, that the people are going to be aggressively pursuing high bail, so you don’t pose a risk to the community, as well as your own family members,” Deputy District Attorney Lindsey Carinci said outside the court, according to Fox 5 San Diego.