The last thing Carrie Thomas' boss remembers her saying -- before the longtime Shakey's Pizza manager was found bleeding out in her black Mazda at 11:45 p.m. on Sunday night -- is that she needed to use the ATM [Press-Enterprise].
When police were called to the Visterra Credit Union parking lot to investigate a vehicle crashed into a light post, they noticed Thomas inside, suffering from a gunshot wound. The 23-year-old was rushed to Riverside County Regional Medical Center, where she was declared dead just hours later at 4:17 a.m.
Riverside sheriff's investigators only have one solid lead so far:
Sketchy ATM footage of a man in the parking lot on Sunday night. However, while combing the scene for more evidence, they're guessing from the circumstances of Thomas' death that she was the victim of a random robbery-homicide.
Harold Veum, owner of the Shakey's in Moreno Valley, told the Press-Enterprise that Thomas "had worked for the past five or six years" at the Sunnymead Boulevard pizza joint:
He described her as being like family and "one of the best managers I ever had," always arriving at work on time and calling in sick well in advance so a replacement could be found.
"She was cheerful. She could make you laugh so hard," Veum said. "She could come up with things that just bust your gut."
Thomas was on the verge of moving into her own apartment, Veum said. "I think she was just getting the keys today."
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The victim's Facebook profile shows she attended Riverside Community College, and had graduated from Vista Del Lago High School in 2006.
Did you know Carrie Thomas? Any idea what happened that night in the Visterra parking lot? Let us know.
Updates to come.