Elderly woman killed in apartment complex by attempted purse snatcher

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) -- Memphis Police said the second person killed in the city this year is 81-year-old Catherine Wicker.

Wicker was killed Sunday night at the Sycamore Lake Apartment complex. Officers said her assailant tried to rob her before running her over. He is still wanted.

On Monday WREG confirmed Wicker was delivering groceries to her son who lives in the northeast Memphis complex.

Wicker lived Bartlett, where her neighbors were shocked by the news.

"I'm very saddened to hear what has happened," said Virginia Ilardi. She said she used to play Bunko with 81-year-old Wicker.

"Always consider her a friend. Very sweet, nice person," she said.

WREG confirmed Wicker owned a drapery and hardware factory just outside of Bartlett and Llardi said Wicker has lived in her Bartlett home for years.

" We drive down the street, we wave at each other," she said.

Memphis Police said a man attempted to rob Wicker while she was in the parking lot of the Sycamore Lake Apartments around 7 p.m. Sunday. As he was grabbing her purse she tried to fight back and yelled for help.Someone at the complex tried to assist and that's when the suspect got into his Chevy Malibu and hit her.

Investigators said at one point she was pinned against another vehicle. Wicker was pulled under the car and dragged several feet.

She was taken to the hospital where she died from her injuries.

An hour and a half after the attempted robbery police located a vehicle on fire that matched the description of the suspect's on Bartlett Grove Road, less than a mile from the crime scene. They have not officially said if the vehicle was involved.

"I just seen a car getting the hell out of dodge," said witness Calvin Williams.

Hearing the news of her death, Wicker's neighbors are in disbelief.

"I'm kinda teared up about it cause of the fact—God when I get to be 81 and that's not that far down the road, I wanna know that I can live a peaceful life," said BJ Banks.

Ilardi can relate to the pain Wicker's family is enduring.

" It's just awful and I lost my son 20 years ago to murder," she said.

She's hoping police can bring some sense of closure.

"All I can say is these people should be locked up and put away so they don't do it to someone else."

If you have any information call CrimeStoppers at (901) 528-CASH.

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