Great-grandmother shot, killed trying to stop fight outside DC grocery store

WASHINGTON (WJLA/CNN) - Police in Washington D.C. are offering a $25,000 reward in their search for the suspects who killed a 71-year-old woman as she tried to stop a fight involving her granddaughter.

Sheila Lucas, 71, was beloved for her generosity towards her children and her dozens of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, according to her son, Robert Alston. (Source: Lucas Family/WJLA/CNN)

Robert Alston says his mother, 71-year-old Sheila Lucas, was beloved for her generosity towards her children and her dozens of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

"There was days my mom went without, just to make sure that we had food on the table, clothes on our back. Being a single mother growing up, that's the woman that I know. That's my queen. That's my everything," he said.

According to Alston, Lucas was once again helping family Saturday evening near a Giant grocery store in Washington D.C. Family members say Lucas drove from her home to the store after her granddaughter had been attacked by two girls inside it.

Lucas met her daughter and granddaughter outside of the store and was walking with them to their nearby home when the attackers returned, the family says.

“My mom tried to step in between to make sure that they didn’t fight,” Alston said. “A gunshot rang [out]. My mom gets hit in the head, and then, she’s no longer here with us.”

The Metropolitan Police Department says Lucas was taken to the hospital and later pronounced dead. Another man nearby was also shot. His injuries were not life-threatening.

“Who shoots a 71-year-old woman in the head who has nothing to do with all this? We didn’t get a chance to say, ‘Mom, we love you.’ We didn’t get a chance to say, ‘Mom, we’ll see you later.’ We didn’t get that opportunity. Her life was taken from us,” Alston said.

Police said Monday afternoon they did not yet have a suspect description or an arrest to announce in the case.

Alston, a pastor at Thankful Baptist Church, has spent the past three weeks preaching online about forgiveness, so he wanted to send a message to whoever killed his mother.

“We’re asking you if you have a heart - because we know you have a grandmother; we know you have a mother - turn yourself in. Let justice prevail,” he said. “I forgive you. I release you. But for justice’s sake, please go turn yourself in."

MPD says there is a reward of up to $25,000 for anyone who gives information leading to an arrest and conviction.

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