MEMPHIS, Tennessee – Yolanda Stripling got a call from her granddaughter Thursday night.
On April 24th, 2019, police where called to the Pine Bluffs apartment complex at 43 Muddy River Lane. When officers arrived at 11:08 p.m., they found the body of Latarica Stripling, already deceased.
Latarica’s 8-year-old daughter will be hunted for the rest of her life after watching her mom die. The child tried to save her mom by jumping in front of her before she was shot. A 3-year-old was also near the shooting scene sitting in a car seat, Yolanda Stripling said.
Yolanda was informed of the shooting after the 8-year-old called her.
“Grandma,” the 8-year-old girl said. “He killed my mama.”
The call she got from the young girl was her first notification that her daughter, LaTarica Stripling, had been shot.
Later, the grandmother said, she learned the 8-year-old saw the killing — at one point, jumping in front of her mother before she was shot.
“It’s difficult, she is definitely going to have counseling because she seen it,” she said.
“(The 8-year-old) tried to jump in front of her mom and he pushed her away. She has a bruise on her hand. He pushed her away so he could shoot her.”
Memphis police later announced a search warrant had been issued for Michael McKinnie on suspicion of first-degree murder, reckless endangerment and being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun.
Police records show McKinnie has a history of domestic violence involving LaTarica Stripling.
According to an affidavit from Sept. 10, 2017, MPD responded to a domestic violence call where Stripling told police she was choked by McKinnie.
In that incident, McKinnie allegedly grabbed Stripling by her neck and said: “I told you I was going to kill you today.”
Stripling was unconscious for 15 minutes afterward, according to the affidavit.
Those charges were dismissed for a lack of prosecution.
Stripling’s family says they have had problems in the past and that she left him two months ago.
“She was doing all she could to get away from him,” said LaToya Stripling.
“He’s a coward. And I hope the hands of God bring him to want to turn himself in, to bring justice and peace to my sister and us,” said LaToya Stripling.
Her family says they will always remember LaTarica as a successful entrepreneur and a loving mother.
Her daughter wishes she could tell her mother one last thing.
“I love her,” she said.
The Stripling family said they plan to come together to help raise LaTarica’s three kids.
They say Stripling and McKinnie had one child together.
Stripling’s mother told WREG that her daughter was the owner of the Thread Hair Salon and the Thread Collection.
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Just leaving isn’t always enough when experiencing an abusive relationship. Sometimes a woman must relocate to a secret location.
Rest in peace LaTarica.