Crime - Sacto 911

Winters shooting victim dies at hospital

A Winters woman is dead, shot at close range in a brazen daylight attack, and the hunt continued Monday night for her killer.

Leslie Pinkston’s voice on an answering machine still greets customers at Aleco Electric, the downtown Winters business where she worked, and where, a short distance away, she was shot multiple times as she sat in her car Monday morning.

Pinkston was airlifted from Winters to Sacramento’s UC Davis Medical Center after the 9:30 a.m. shooting that occurred in the 300 block of Railroad Avenue. She survived the flight to the hospital, said hospital officials, but doctors could not save her. She was 32.

Authorities suspect Pinkston’s killer was a former husband or boyfriend. His whereabouts and identity remained unknown as Winters police, along with authorities from the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office and California Highway Patrol, continued their search Monday night in the air and on the ground.

The Winters Express reported witnesses saw a man believed to be the shooter get into an older tan-colored van with a sliding door that was parked on the Railroad Avenue side of the Winters city parking lot after firing the fatal shots.

Walter Hickerson learned from news reports that Pinkston had been shot and later died. He lives in Rancho Cordova now, but grew up in Winters and attended Winters High School with Pinkston.

“There was nothing bad you could say about her,” Hickerson said.

The rare homicide in this town of nearly 7,000 forced the lockdown of Winters’ six schools, said Winters Joint Unified School District officials, and halted Yolobus bus service into the town. The countywide transit service scrambled to accommodate Yolobus riders during the afternoon commute.

District officials lifted the school lockdown at about 12:30 p.m.

Winters Joint Unified schools chief Brent Cushenberry described a scene just as rare outside his offices with law enforcement swarming the streets and a CHP helicopter flying overhead.

“Winters is a small place,” Cushenberry said. “We had the world converge on us.”

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