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Minivan mom, 22, shot and killed in road rage incident in front of her two young sons riding in the back

  • Christopher Taylor, 39, was arrested in South Dakota on second-degree murder charge in the slaying of Whitney Gray in independence, Missouri
  • Accused of shooting the 22-year-old woman in the chest in front of her 8-month-old baby, 3-year-old son and a 16-year-old relative 
  • Court records indicate Taylor allegedly opened fire on Gray’s minivan after someone tossed a drink from the vehicle onto his SUV 
  • Police tracked down suspect’s Toyota Sequoia Tuesday in Box Elder, South Dakota, more than 700 miles away from the crime scene  

A Missouri man was arrested in South Dakota early Tuesday morning in connection to the Sunday night road-rage killing of a 22-year-old mother who was shot dead with three children in her car.

Christopher Taylor, 39, was taken into police custody in Box Elder, South Dakota – more than 700 miles away from the crime scene – on charges of second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the slaying of Whitney Gray in independence, Missouri.

According to newly filed court documents, police officers responded to the shooting in the 1600 block of South Sterling Avenue in Independence at around 7.40pm Sunday and discovered the mother-of-two suffering from a single gunshot wound to the chest.

Christopher Taylor, 39 A 39-year-old man was arrested and charged Tuesday in the suspected road-rage killing of Whitney Gray

Justice for Whitney: Christopher Taylor, 39 (left), was arrested and charged Tuesday in the suspected road-rage killing of Whitney Gray (right)

Mom killed: The 22-year-old woman was shot in the chest Sunday while driving her two young sons (pictured above) and a teenage relative

Mom killed: The 22-year-old woman was shot in the chest Sunday while driving her two young sons (pictured above) and a teenage relative

Caught on camera: Police in Independence, Missouri, were able to track down the suspect's white Toyota Squoia, seen in this screenshot from a surveillance video 

Caught on camera: Police in Independence, Missouri, were able to track down the suspect’s white Toyota Squoia, seen in this screenshot from a surveillance video

Surveillance video of cars involved with road rage passing
Gray was driving a minivan carrying her two sons, an eight-month-old and a three-year-old, along with a 16-year-old relative, when police say Christopher Taylor opened fire on her, ‘apparently due to road rage,’ a press release from the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office stated.

The court records indicate that Taylor was closely following Gray’s Chevy Venture as she drove north on Sterling Avenue, and at one point tried to pass her, nearly causing a collision.

At Winner Road, witnesses reported seeing someone throw a drink or liquid from Gray’s vehicle onto Taylor’s white Toyota Sequoia. Then a loud ‘pop’ was heard.

Paramedics who responded to the shooting attempted to resuscitate Gray, but she was pronounced dead at the scene. None of the three children in the vehicle, among them the woman’s two sons, were physically injured during the incident.

Police later obtained surveillance video showing Whitney Gray’s minivan being followed by a large white SUV.

Court records indicate Christopher Taylor allegedly shot Gray after someone threw a drink from her minivan that landed on his SUVGray is pictured with her three-year-old son

Killed over a spilled drink? Court records indicate Christopher Taylor allegedly shot Gray after someone threw a drink from her minivan that landed on his SUV

Police tracked down Taylor's SUV Tuesday in Box Elder, South Dakota, more than 700 miles away from the crime scene in Independence, Missouri 

Police tracked down Taylor’s SUV Tuesday in Box Elder, South Dakota, more than 700 miles away from the crime scene in Independence, Missouri

Witnesses told investigators that Christopher Taylor’s white Toyota Sequoia may have been involved in the road rage incident after they saw the CCTV footage on the news.

On Monday, according to the prosecutor’s office, Taylor failed to show up for work, which his boss said was out of character for him.

His family then became suspicious that the 39-year-old was the wanted gunman after he packed up his belongings, including firearms, camping equipment and gold pieces, and left his home in independence.

A probable cause affidavit states that when police interviewed James Taylor, the man’s father, he described his son as a loner who was paranoid of the government and made every effort to stay off the grid.

A car dealer ultimately helped investigators track down Taylor’s Toyota to a hotel in Box Elder, South Dakota, where he was taken into custody by the US . Marshals Services Tuesday morning.

Prosecutors have requested a bond of $100,0000 cash for Taylor’s release.

Meanwhile, the victim’s brother, Dylan Gray, took to Facebook calling his sister’s killer ‘a son of a b****.’

In an earlier post preceding Taylor’s arrest, Mr Gray wrote: ‘One step at a time sanity be with me and my family through these raging emotions and pain nothing will ever bring my baby sister back but this coward is gonna pay for what he has done.’

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