A manhunt in the road rage killing of Sara Mutschlechner continues. The 20-year-old Martindale, Texas, woman was shot and killed after a traffic incident that occurred on New Year’s Eve. Mutschlechner, the designated driver for the evening, had just left a party in Denton when a driver in a dark SUV pulled alongside her and her friends, and words were exchanged. One of the men reportedly fired shots into the North Texas University student’s car.
Sara Mutschlechner was hit in the head by a bullet fired from the dark-colored SUV. Her car crashed into an electric pole, hitting the gunman’s vehicle in the process. The gunman’s Toyota or Lexus SUV contained five or six black men, according to witnesses. One of the three passengers in Mutschlechner’s vehicle sustained minor injuries during the accident. Police investigators were told by the passengers that at least two of the men in the SUV had attended the same fraternity New Year’s Eve party earlier the same evening.
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) January 4, 2016
When the police and EMS first responders arrived on the scene, Sara Mutschlechner was lying on the pavement next to her wrecked car. She was transported to the Denton Regional Medical Center Friday and placed on life support. When a decision was made to remove the San Marcos High School graduate from life support, she was pronounced dead shortly later, MSN reports. Mutschlechner’s sorority sisters at Zeta Tau Alpha held a candlelight vigil in her honor after being informed she had succumbed to her injuries. The damaged SUV was able to drive away from the accident.
— Denton Texas News (@DentonTexasNews) January 4, 2016
Police officers are still seeking to speak with the 60 or so people who attended the New Year’s Eve party in an effort to garner more information about the men in the SUV. Investigators are hoping that the college-aged partygoers had out their cell phones snapping photos and taking video during the event, and the images could help to identify the killer of Sara Mutschlechner, NewsMax reports.
“We’re following up on some leads, but we can’t release a suspect’s name at this time,” Denton Police Department representative Shane Kizer told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “It’s our understanding that the occupants of the SUV were all African American males, five to six males.”
The police had been called to the New Year’s Eve fraternity party on Crisoforo Drive at least once that evening, but the complaint was not due to a physical altercation or similar crime but only over the noise generated by the attendees.
Sara Mutschlechner, a junior at the University of North Texas (UNT), was majoring in radio, television, and film and had selected theater as her minor. Her sorority sister Taylor Phillips told local reporters that Sara was not a “typical sorority girl” and emphasized that her friend had a wide variety of interests and was well-liked by students both in the Greek system and out.
The artist with a black belt in Taekwondo wanted to one day open a martial arts gym on her own, according to Phillips.
A racial aspect to the deadly road rage incident has evolved online. After news of the shooting of Sara Mutschlechner made national headlines and went viral, comments about the race of both the shooter and the victim underneath news articles have garnered nearly equal attention. As the Examiner notes, comments about the shooting and the man-hunt for the killer maintain that the race of the men in the SUV is being underreported and claim that if the shooter had been white and the victim black, it would be deemed a hate crime and sparked protests.
What do you think about the reverse-racism claims revolving around the tragic death of Sara Mutschlechner?
[Image via Twitter]