Crime - Sacto 911

She was trying to start a neighborhood watch group – now she’s dead

Neighbor describes Tortola Way shooting aftermath

Neighbor Allene Boulware describes the scene of a Thursday night shooting on Tortola Way near 53rd Avenue. The Sacramento County Coroner's Office identified the woman fatally struck in the shooting as 26-year-old Ariyana Jones.
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Neighbor Allene Boulware describes the scene of a Thursday night shooting on Tortola Way near 53rd Avenue. The Sacramento County Coroner's Office identified the woman fatally struck in the shooting as 26-year-old Ariyana Jones.

The woman who was shot and killed Thursday night in her south Sacramento home was with her husband and two children when shots were fired into their house.

Ariyana Jones, 26, was identified by the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office on Friday. Police said she was shot about 7:30 p.m. inside her house in the 6700 block of Tortola Way.

Allene Boulware, a neighbor who saw the aftermath of the shooting, said Jones was a teacher and had gone door to door months ago to start a neighborhood watch group in response to a string of robberies in the area.

Boulware said she had seen Jones and her husband playing outdoors with their young children on several occasions on the neatly kept street of modest, one-story houses.

“Her main concern was about the break-ins in the houses around here and for the community to try to get together to see what we could do as a community to stop the crime that was going on,” Boulware said.

Jones was a preschool teaching assistant at Sacramento Country Day School, a highly regarded private school in the city’s Sierra Oaks neighborhood. Headmaster Lee Thomsen said the school community was in shock after the news of Jones’ death circulated early Friday morning.

“She was 26 years old, and she was one of those educators who when you meet them, even at that young age, you know that they have ‘it,’ ” Thomsen said. “She had an energy. We saw her as someone who we wanted to groom to be a future leader on our faculty. She was a tremendous person.”

Parents bringing their young children to school Friday morning were asked to take them home, Thomsen said. Groups of middle-school students who had known Jones – she had worked at Country Day since 2009 – stood in groups crying and telling stories about “amazing things” she had done, Thomsen said.

The school had helped set up a GoFundMe page for Jones’ husband and children, a 4-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old son. It had raised more than $17,000 by Friday evening.

“She was an incredibly loving mother of two and a mother and caretaker to the hundreds who encountered her at school,” the headmaster said.

Officers found Jones on Thursday night with gunshot wounds and administered CPR until the Sacramento Fire Department arrived and brought her to a hospital, where she died.

Boulware said she had left her home on 53rd Avenue and headed to Tortola Way after hearing several gunshots because she was worried about her son, who sometimes visits friends on the street.

“When I got to the corner, I saw the ambulance and the police,” Boulware said. “They had already put the young lady in the ambulance and were rushing her off to the hospital.”

Sacramento police spokeswoman Traci Trapani said homicide detectives and crime-scene investigators went to the home. She said it had not been determined whether the shots were fired from a vehicle or by someone on foot.

On Friday morning, several bullet holes were seen in the front of the gated home, including one piercing the lower half of the front door. A security camera was installed outside near the doorway.

“I don’t know if they were able to retrieve videos from that camera or if that was even functioning at the time of the shooting, but that’s something that (detectives) are definitely looking into,” Trapani said about the camera.

Anyone with information that might assist in the investigation can call the Police Department’s dispatch center at 916-264-5471 or Crime Stoppers at 916-443-4357 or submit an anonymous tip using the free “P3 Tips” smartphone app.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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