Woman Shot Dead After She Tried Fleeing an Armed Man in Parking Lot

May 11, 2019 Updated: May 11, 2019

A woman was shot dead after she was approached by an armed man outside an office building in Greenbelt on the evening of May 10, police said.

Bettie Jenifer, 44, of Bowie, was outside the building on Ivy Lane in Greenbelt just after 5 p.m. when she was approached by the man with a gun.

After Jenifer tried fleeing the suspect, running across the parking lot, the man fired multiple shots and at least one hit the victim in the head.

Jenifer was pronounced dead at the scene.

“The suspect then fled the scene in a vehicle described as blue in color, no further,” George Mathews, a Greenbelt Police spokesperson, said in a press release. “The suspect is described as a black male with a thin build and black hair, wearing a dark shirt and dark pants.”

Jenifer was identified as the wife of Ghanaian actor Chris Attoh, who announced his marriage to her in October 2018. They were married in Accra, Ghana, reported the Modern Ghana blog. Jenifer was described as “a Caribbean who [is] based in the United States of America.”

It was Attoh’s second marriage after he married Nigerian actress Damilola Adegbite in 2015 but divorced two years later.

According to the Sahara Reporters website, Attoh recently ignited speculation with an unusual move online.

“Last week, Chris Attoh sparked speculation on social media that all was not well with his second marriage after he deleted all of Bettie’s pictures from his social media pages. It was alleged that they had broken up but neither of the two has publicly confirmed or denied the story,” it stated.

Attoh has not posted about the death on social media. Earlier on May 10, he wrote on Twitter: “When it comes to relationships, remaining faithful is never an option but a priority. Loyalty is ever…”

Co-workers told NBC 4 that Jenifer worked at a temporary staffing agency on the first floor of the office building she was outside of when she encountered the gunman.

Crime Statistics

Crime declined in the United States in first half of 2018 compared to the first half of 2017, the FBI said in February. Preliminary statistics show nearly all offenses in the violent crime category declined.

Robbery offenses decreased 12.5 percent, murder and nonnegligent manslaughter offenses decreased 6.7 percent, and aggravated assault offenses declined 2 percent, the agency said. Rapes, however, increased by 0.6 percent.

When comparing data from the first six months of 2018 with the first six months of 2017, all property crime categories showed a decrease. Burglaries were down 12.7 percent, larceny-thefts decreased 6.3 percent, and motor vehicle thefts declined 3.3 percent. The full 2018 crime report will be released later this year.

The FBI previously said that both violent crime and property crime decreased in 2017, the last year that full statistics are available for, compared to 2016. Overall violent crime decreased 0.2 percent from 2016 to 2017, while property crime decreased 3 percent during that time, the agency said in September 2018, releasing data from the previous year.

“There were more than 1.2 million violent crimes reported to UCR nationwide in 2017. There was a 0.7 percent decrease in murders and a 4 percent decrease in robberies from 2016 to 2017. Aggravated assaults increased by 1 percent in 2017. The FBI began collecting data solely on an updated rape definition last year, and 135,755 rapes were reported to law enforcement in 2017,” the FBI stated.

“The report also showed there were more than 7.7 million property crimes last year. Burglaries decreased 7.6 percent and larceny-thefts decreased by 2.2 percent. Motor vehicle thefts increased by 0.8 percent from 2016 to 2017.”

The figures were compiled from more than 13,000 law enforcement agencies around the United States that submitted their crime data to the FBI.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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