DALLAS - Dallas police are trying to determine who shot and killed a man who wound up causing a deadly wreck in Pleasant Grove late Sunday.
Officers discovered Jose Rico, 23, had been shot after he hit and killed Sheila Johnson, 53, as she sat at a stop light just after 10 p.m. Sunday.
Rico was driving at a high rate of speed in a Dodge Charger on Scyene Road near Jim Miller Road in southeast Dallas when he crossed into oncoming traffic and slammed head-on into the gold sedan driven by Johnson.
Police believe Rico lost control because he was losing consciousness from being shot at an unknown location. Despite Rico's car bursting into flames, it didn't stop people from trying to help -- even they didn't realize he had already been shot when they pulled him from his car.
“Tried to reach the guy but he was too heavy, I couldn’t reach him,” said Raj Kapoor, who works at the nearby Vecta Food Store. “Coworker with me came and cut the airbag and tried to take him out.”
Phillip Richardson lives just a few blocks away and also rushed to the scene. He found Johnson's car that was hurled 50 yards away by the force of the collision.
"It was tore up so badly. You couldn't even see her in there to even see the person,” Richardson said. “Just banged up really, really bad. Really bad. I've never seen anything like that before."
Lakesha Johnson is Sheila Johnson's only child. She and other family members gathered Monday afternoon, seeking comfort in the loss of a woman they all describe as fun loving and was the rock of her family.
"My momma didn't deserve this she was a good person,” Lakesha said. “My momma traveled that road. Same way home every day. Nothing new. Nothing out of the ordinary. And she's not here today. And I can't get her back, and I can't hear her voice. I'm empty without my momma."
Paramedics started to perform CPR on Rico and noticed he had been shot. He died at the hospital. Johnson died before rescuers could pull her from her vehicle.
Rico's relatives say he was a Richland Community College automotive student. They have no idea how he ended up shot or even where he was headed to Sunday night.
Relatives also gathered at Rico's home. They’re also desperate for answers.
"The investigation says they have no leads on where he was coming from or where he was headed,” said Jose Perez, Rico’s cousin.
Perez says he'd just got a promotion and was driving for UPS. The family has no idea how he got shot or even where he was going Sunday night.
"There's just no words to explain or describe just how you feel about losing someone you care about so much,” Perez said.
Police have yet to release more information about what they may have discovered happened before the deadly crash. They continue to search for Rico’s killer and a motive for the shooting.
Anyone with information is asked to call 214-671-3630 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.