Tourist killed in robbery outside fashion mall

NEWPORT BEACH, CA – A New Zealand tourist was tragically killed during a botched robbery attempt outside a popular California shopping mall on Tuesday, leading to a high-speed police chase and the eventual arrest of three suspects.

Patricia McKay, 68, was with her husband near the Barnes & Noble store at Fashion Island Mall around 3:30 p.m. when two men approached them, according to the Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD). One of the men brandished a firearm, initiating a struggle that resulted in McKay being dragged into the parking lot. Although shots were fired, no one was hit.

During the chaos, a third suspect driving a white Toyota Camry struck McKay, fatally injuring her. Her husband escaped without harm. The suspects then fled the scene, heading north towards Los Angeles, prompting a police pursuit.

Aerial footage captured by local media showed one suspect fleeing into a residential area in South Gate. A witness directed police to the suspect’s hiding spot between two homes. The man, shirtless, eventually surrendered to officers with guns drawn, kneeling and placing his hands on his head before being taken into custody.

The remaining two suspects continued their escape in the Camry but were apprehended after abandoning the vehicle in Los Angeles County. The suspects were identified as Jaden Cunningham, 18, of Lancaster; Malachi Eddward Darnell, 18, of Los Angeles; and Leroyernest Joseph McCrary, 26, of Compton. All three face charges of homicide, armed robbery, and conspiracy.

Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill condemned the attack, calling the suspects “creeps” and expressing his sorrow for the community’s loss. “Newport Beach is a safe community and we’re mourning the loss of someone,” O’Neill said. “We have to do better as a society. We cannot tolerate this.”

Witnesses to the aftermath of the incident, including delivery driver Esamaiel Hamad, were shocked by the violence in an area typically known for its tranquility. “This never happens here,” Hamad remarked, noting the rarity of police presence in the area.