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A Chicago man has been arrested after allegedly hitting a 55-year-old woman and her daughter with his car, then turning around and fatally running over the 55-year-old.
Zoraleigh Ryan, 55, and her 20-year-old daughter were crossing a street in Chicago Monday night when a silver Ford Explorer came flying around the corner, police say, according to the Chicago Tribune. The car struck Ryan first, followed by her daughter.
The vehicle stopped as bystanders ran to help the women. The driver — later identified as 25-year-old Edgar Roman — got out of the car and approached the victims. When a bystander tried to take his picture, however, prosecutors said he jumped back in his car and drove off, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Ryan was still lying in the street when, less than a minute later, the SUV came roaring back, Ryan’s daughter told police, according to local outlet WTTW. The vehicle was allegedly aiming for Ryan, her daughter, and a bystander who was helping them — but the bystander wrenched the daughter out of harm’s way at the last moment.
Ryan was not so lucky. The car allegedly plowed into the woman and dragged her body down the block before driving off, the Tribune reports. By the time paramedics arrived at 10:44 p.m., she was dead, a representative at the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office told Oxygen.com.
Police spotted the Ford Explorer driving erratically shortly after the incident, WTTW reports. They attempted to pull it over, but the car crashed through a barricade and entered a construction zone. The vehicle then attempted to smash through another construction barricade, but could not. As officers jumped out with guns drawn and started to surround the car, it wheeled around in a three-point turn and sped off.
About an hour later, Roman walked into a police station claiming that he’d been carjacked and forced to drive at gunpoint, the Sun-Times reports. But when police discovered the Ford Explorer parked near the station, he was arrested and charged with murder, attempted murder, leaving the scene of a crash, and filing a false police report.
He is being held on $2 million bond, according to an online inmate search.
This incident comes in the midst of a wave of intense protests and looting in Chicago, and Alderman Brian Hopkins has blamed the incident on looters.
“We have reason to believe that this vehicle was involved in looting,” Hopkins told the Sun-Times on Tuesday. “Detectives have not made that determination yet, but there’s some witness statements that suggest it. We know that the looters drive extremely fast and recklessly.”
Prosecutors did not mention the possibility of looting in court, the Sun-Times reports.
Ryan’s daughter suffered broken arms and ribs, and her family continues to mourn the loss of a beloved figure, according to KPNX, a station near the family’s home in Arizona.
“She didn’t deserve it. Now my only grandma is gone because people want to be dumb,” Ryan’s granddaughter, Angelina Adams, told the station.
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