A female U.S. postal worker, who was also a board member of her church, has been shot dead by a local resident in Indiana who reportedly blamed her for not receiving their coronavirus aid stimulus payment in the mail.
Angela Summers, 45, who was a board member at Unity of Indianapolis Church in Indianapolis, died of a gunshot wound to her chest. She leaves behind her teenage daughter.
The local police department is working with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the FBI in the investigation.
According to reports, a 21-year-old man, Tony Cushingberry, has been arrested in relation to the killing.
One neighbour, who came out to help Summers after the shooting, described the devastating scene. Alondra Salazar told the Kansas City Star: "She couldn't speak, she was hyperventilating. I think she said something about her kid and that's when I started crying."
The pastor of Unity of Indianapolis Church has spoken of his shock at the news. Pastor Michael Davis said, "It's real hard. This never happened to us before. To have someone so integral to the community — to have their life taken so quickly and so violently, it's hard to take that in; it's hard to understand that."
Speaking about the arrest, Pastor Davis said, "It doesn't stop the tears. It actually brought more today because of the relief on knowing this won't have to go on and on. There can be some closure."
The accused, Tony Cushingberry, could face a life sentence, as the victim was a federal employee on their duties. He has been charged with second-degree murder, assaulting a federal employee and discharging a firearm during a crime.
President of the local branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers, Paul Toms, has reported that there were previous incidences with the people living at the residence where the shooting took place.
Toms explained that the stimulus cheque might have been held up as mail to that house had to be picked up by its residents for about two weeks.
Summers apparently had been having problems with the dog being kept at the residence.
Just days before the shooting, Summers had posted on Facebook: "The dog is a nasty devil that I've actually had to spray — twice."
She had also explained that mail to the home had been stopped for a period until owners signed a letter saying they would keep their dog away when deliveries were being made.