Authorities have in custody the man who they believe fatally shot his 48-year-old former girlfriend in her Greenwood home Tuesday night after holding four of her relatives hostage.

Angela McDowell

McDowell

Angela McDowell died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to Leflore County Coroner Debra Sanders.

 McDowell was transported following the shooting to Greenwood Leflore Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.

Greenwood Deputy Police Chief Marvin Hammond said authorities received a call around 8:30 p.m. in reference to shots fired at a residence on the 800 block of Martin Street. Additionally, Hammond said a relative of McDowell’s who lived nearby had flagged down a passing police officer, urging authorities to go to McDowell’s house.

When officers arrived, the 50-year-old ex-boyfriend of McDowell’s came outside the house and was arrested, Hammond said. The suspect did not have a weapon on him when he was arrested, although Hammond said police officers did retrieve a weapon inside McDowell’s home.

The suspect had not been officially charged as of Wednesday afternoon, but Hammond said he expected charges would be filed Thursday.

According to Hammond, the former boyfriend allegedly forced himself inside McDowell’s residence at gunpoint and took four members of McDowell’s family hostage. “He forced the kids inside the bathroom and actually waited there until the mom showed up,” Hammond said.

He said when McDowell came home, the suspect pulled out his pistol and shot at her multiple times. Hammond could not provide an exact number of how many times McDowell was shot.

The motive for the shooting, or why the suspect involved members of McDowell’s family, remained unclear as of Wednesday afternoon, Hammond said, adding that the investigation is ongoing.

McDowell’s death marks the 20th homicide to have occurred in Leflore County this year. All but one of the homicides have involved guns.

Meanwhile, friends of McDowell are trying to grapple with the shock of what happened to her.

“We were friends for 30-plus years,” said Karen Perryman, who first met McDowell at Greenwood High School. “I just don’t really have the words. I’m in shock.”

Juanita Lacy Larry, who also first met McDowell at Greenwood High and had been friends with her for three decades, said they had a “friend-sister relationship.”

“She was one of the most reliable, dependable friends that you would ever want to meet. There was never anything, ever, that I needed her for that she was not there for,” Larry said. “In a nutshell, she was the type of person that would give you the hat off of her head, and she did not deserve what happened to her. She was a very dear friend of mine, and I will remember her forever.”

Bessie Mae West had been friends with McDowell for 25 years and first met her at New Green Grove Church of Faith.  West said her friend “was one of the sweetest persons that anyone wanted to be around. She was full of life. She would help anyone.”

None of the friends could provide details on McDowell’s relationship with the ex-boyfriend or give a reason why he allegedly killed her.

“It’s just devastating,” West said. “I just hate that this happened to her. She loved everybody. She had a big heart.”

McDowell had a 30-year-old daughter, a 16-year-old son and  two granddaughters, Larry said. The four are believed to be the relatives who were held hostage in the home prior to the shooting.

Larry said she got to know McDowell more when McDowell stopped by Larry’s beauty shop. That customer-merchant relationship soon blossomed into a treasured friendship, Larry said.

“There would be nights where we talked on the phone. I remember one night we talked on the phone until 6 the next morning,” Larry said.

For a number of years, McDowell lived in Webb, from which she commuted to work at a prison in Arkansas, Larry said.

McDowell returned to Greenwood in late 2019 and later worked at the WIN Job Center as a security guard,  Larry said.

“We lost a great friend,” West said, describing McDowell as a “very humble spirit” and “just a nice lady.”

Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or gedic@gwcommonwealth.com.

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