HOUSTON – A mother of two who moved to Houston after Hurricane Katrina was fatally shot by a deputy after she was suspected of shoplifting at Walmart didn’t deserve to die, her family said.
Harris County Sheriff’s deputies said Tiasa Andrews, Yolanda Craig, and Shelly Frey were stealing from a Walmart Thursday night. They said the women ran off when Louis Campbell, an off-duty deputy, confronted them. Campbell, a 26-year veteran of the force, works security at the store located at the 10400 block of the North Freeway.
Campbell chased the women to the parking lot, where they tried driving off. At one point, he said he was between the car door and the driver’s seat and feared for his safety.
He fired, striking Frey in the neck. She died at an apartment complex in the 1300 block of Greens Parkway minutes afterward.
“Shelly was the perfect mom, perfect friend, perfect daughter,” said her father, Shelton Frey.
Frey said the 27-year-old mother of two had moved to Houston after Katrina to start a new life. He said she was limited by how much she could work because of a 2-year-old girl with sickle cell anemia.
After a cousin called to tell them what happened, Frey’s parents drove straight from New Orleans.
The parents said they were never contacted by investigators and that they were not allowed to see their daughter’s body. She was the oldest of three children.
“I can’t eat, I can’t sleep—I just need to know,” her mother Sharon Wilkerson said.
Wilkerson said she also needs to know why the deputy took the shot he did.
“Why couldn’t you just shoot the tire, shoot the window?” she asked. “Was it that serious?”
Even if her daughter did commit a crime, Wilkerson said she did not deserve to die—or for her two young grandchildren to lose their mother.
“How do I tell these children she’s not coming back?” she asked.
Though Wilkerson said there were two young children in the car during the shooting, she said they were not her daughter’s children.
Both Andrews and Craig, the two other women allegedly involved, have been charged.
Court documents, meantime, reveal that Shelly Frey wasn’t even supposed to be at a Walmart. Earlier this year she pleaded guilty to stealing shirts and a package of meat, and agreed to avoid Walmart stores as part of a plea agreement.