Authorities in Texas are investigating the death of Drill Sgt. Jessica Mitchell, found fatally shot on a San Antonio interstate on New Year’s Day.
Police officers responding to a call of a stranded vehicle in the fast lane on Interstate 10 shortly after 2 a.m. local time found a white Dodge Challenger with multiple bullet holes to the driver’s side door and window, San Antonio police said in a statement.
“Officers opened the vehicle door and checked for a pulse on the victim (who) appeared to have been struck multiple times,” police said.
Mitchell was transported by ambulance to University Hospital where she was pronounced dead. The highway was shut down and the scene processed by crime scene technicians and homicide detectives. The investigation is ongoing.
Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) issued a statement saying Mitchell’s death is being investigated by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division.
Mitchell, 30, was on holiday leave from her assignment as a dental specialist at Army Medical Center of Excellence on JBSA-Fort Sam Houston.
Mitchell had a 10-year-old son, according to Francesca Toby, Mitchell’s childhood friend.
“She was a beautiful, beautiful woman. She had a son, and he’s without his mom, and I just want to give my prayers to her family, to her son, to her son’s father,” Toby told WOAI-TV in San Antonio.
Mitchell’s 18-year-old brother, Justice, was shot and killed in 2017, according to WOAI. Mitchell’s father told WOAI his daughter was a fifth-generation member of the military. Mayo Mitchell said he learned of her death on his own father’s birthday.
“I told all my children, I want you to do better than what I have done,” Mayo Mitchell said. “She wanted to be the best that she can be in her military career. But that was cut short.”
Maj. Gen. Dennis LeMaster, Jessica Mitchell’s commanding officer, said he was “devastated by the tragic loss.”
“Our sincere condolences go out to her family and friends,” LeMaster said. “We are focused on supporting Drill Sgt. Mitchell’s family as well as her soldiers during this extremely difficult time.”
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