Sioux Falls police say a woman killed Tuesday outside a strip mall was shot likely because she wouldn't cooperate with the suspect.
Wednesday, Police detailed the chain of events that led up to Tuesday's murder suicide outside a Sioux Falls Cost Cutters store.
Captain Greg VandeKamp said police were initially called to an in-home daycare near 18th Street and Holly Avenue around 12:54 Tuesday afternoon. A woman said Tyrone Leeon Smith came to the home and demanded to take his two children. The daycare operator told Smith he couldn't take the kids, because of a recent protection order filed against Smith. Smith showed a gun, then used zip ties to secure the woman before taking the children and leaving the home. He also took the battery out of her cell phone.
The daycare operator was able to free herself and run to another home to call police. Police say all of the children in the home were napping at the time and it doesn't appear any of them saw what happened.
While police were responding to the call at the daycare, they got a second call about an accident on West 41st Street. When police arrived, they found the driver, Amanda Connors, 24, unconscious with a gunshot wound. Witnesses said they hear what sounded like a gunshot. They also said the door to the Cost Cutters hair salon was locked and employees were inside.
Police say Connors, who was a manager of the Cost Cutters, saw Smith and the kids as she was leaving the store. She called the children's mother, who worked at the store, to tell her Smith was outside. Connors didn't immediately leave. She returned to the store and exchanged words with Smith in the parking lot outside. Police assume when she wouldn't cooperate with Smith's demands, he shot her in the car, causing her to accelerate and hit two cars in the parking lot.
After shooting Connors, police say Smith locked himself in the store with his children and four employees, including the children's mother. He tied up everyone and fired a second shot in the store, which grazed one employee. She suffered minor injuries.
After a short time in the store, Smith said he was going to take his own life. He removed the zip ties from everyone and allowed them to leave the store before shooting himself.
A fund has been set up through Wells Fargo to help offset funeral costs for the Amanda Connors' family. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank nationwide-- just request the Amanda Connors Fund.
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