A 16-year-old girl was tragically shot dead while working at a McDonald’s drive-through in Elko, Nevada on Sunday.
People Magazine reported that Kylee Leniz, a student at Elko High School, was working at the drive-through at around 9:36 pm when 24-year-old Justin Michael Mullis allegedly walked up to the window and shot her through the glass before fleeing the scene. Leniz was rushed to Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital, where she sadly passed away.
Mullis turned himself in to police on Monday and was charged with open murder. Police believe the shooting was random and that Leniz and Mullis had no connection between them.
“It is kind of a mystery to all of us why he chose to do that,” said Elko Police Department Lt. Mike Palhegyi. “He apparently was angry and went to the McDonald’s and took his wrath out on this poor, unfortunate 16-year-old lady. He was angry about his life in general. Usually, you will have a relationship dispute or robbery, but he just walked up and shot that girl for no reason. It is completely senseless.”
The 9mm handgun that was used in the shooting has not yet been located. Mullis is believed to have been wearing a face-covering at the time of the murder, but police were still able to use surveillance footage to track him to a nearby hotel, where he had been hiding out.
“We had the photo and it was pretty clear, and the tips started coming in and we were able to get him identified that way,” Palhegyi said. “He kind of crashes at different people’s houses and doesn’t have a home here per se.”
He added that officers found evidence at the motel that linked Mullis to the shooting.
McDonald’s owner Chris Kassity released a brief statement honoring Leniz after her murder.
“It is with a heavy heart that we lost one of our Elko employees and are deeply saddened by the tragedy that occurred last night,” Kassity said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the employee during this deeply difficult time. We are fully cooperating with local law enforcement as they continue to investigate this tragedy.”
This piece originally appeared in UpliftingToday.com and is used by permission.
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