New Zealand tourist robbed and murdered outside Newport Beach mall, police say

A 68-year-old New Zealand woman was visiting and walking with her husband just outside a Newport Beach shopping mall when she was robbed and killed by three men, police said.

Patricia McKay was standing outside the Fashion Island shopping center, near Santa Rosa Drive and Newport Center Drive, around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday when two men approached her and her husband and attempted to rob them. One of the suspects was reportedly armed with a firearm, Newport Beach police said.

“A struggle ensued and we believe at that point the suspects dragged her out onto the street,” said Sergeant Steve Oberon.

Police investigate the crime scene outside a Newport Beach shopping mall where authorities say three men robbed and killed a New Zealand woman.


McKay was then killed during the robbery by a third man driving a white Toyota Camry, Oberon said.

According to police, another man fired three shots with a gun.

McKay was pronounced dead at the scene. Her body was found in the parking lot just outside the Barnes and Noble bookstore.

“I felt so horrible for that woman and that person at that moment, it just didn’t make sense,” said Beau Bayless, a Good Samaritan who tried to help the couple. He said one of the suspects shot him during the struggle.

The three men suspected in the robbery fled the area, leading police on a chase that continued across the northbound 405 Freeway and into Los Angeles County, police said. The car stopped at a point in Cypress, where one of the suspects got out, and then continued into a neighborhood in South Gate, where aerial footage showed both men running from the car while one of them hid behind some trash cans.

All three men have been arrested. On Wednesday, police identified them as Joseph McCrary Leroyernest, 26, of Compton; Jaden Cunningham, 18, of Lancaster; and Edward Darnell Malachi, 18, of Los Angeles.

The day of the murder, witnesses outside the Orange County Mall said they heard three to four shots before everyone took cover. Police told people to avoid the area while they continued their investigation.

“I was expecting to get my sunglasses fixed,” said shopper Rachel West. “I didn’t know there was going to be a crime scene and a dead body when I got here.”

After the arrest of the three suspects Tuesday, Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill said the area is generally safe.

“I am shocked. I mourn the loss of someone who has died in our city because of crime,” O’Neill said. “This is a tragedy and I am outraged.”

On Tuesday, authorities reported that the suspects allegedly robbed the woman, then jumped in the car and ran her over. On Wednesday, however, police released new details that tell a slightly different story.

The victim was initially described as 69 years old, but police identified her Wednesday as a 68-year-old woman.

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