Wednesday night Dallas police arrested and charged a juvenile in connection with the murder of Leslie Baker, director of marketing at Texas Health Center for Diagnostics & Surgery in Plano.
On Memorial Day, 59-year-old Baker pulled into the driveway of her Preston Hollow home at around 5 p.m. She then became the latest victim in what police now say may have been a series of violent, often bloody carjackings being perpetrated in the DFW area.
At the time of the shooting, Baker was on the phone with a friend and said that she thought she was being robbed, according to Fox News.
Neighbors reported hearing six shots. When Dallas officers arrived, they found Baker in the driver’s seat of her black sedan with a gunshot wound. They pulled her from the vehicle and performed CPR. She later died from her injuries at a nearby hospital.
Baker’s death shocked both the Preston Hollow community where she lived and the Plano community where she worked and was active. Baker was known as a kind, vivacious person, “always smiling and laughing, full of true joy,” says longtime friend Steve Stoler, the director of media relations for the city of Plano.
Susan Stoler graduated with Baker in the 1970s and says that the news left them “stunned and heartbroken.” In September, both women attended their high school reunion, seeing many old friends and reminiscing. Susan is now incredibly grateful that they shared that time together.
“People were drawn to her,” she says. “Everyone we know somehow knew Leslie.”
Baker left behind her husband and two children.
Surveillance cameras from houses in the Preston Hollow neighborhood produced images of a gray sedan seen speeding through the neighborhood around the time of the murder, a lead which helped police track down their suspects.
Tuesday night, five juvenile suspects carjacked a black Mercedes in Richardson on Coit Road using a gun with a laser pointer on it. Richardson police confirmed that the carjacking took place and that a threat of a firearm was used, but were not made aware of any connection to the Baker murder. The five were under surveillance for the Richardson carjacking by undercover Dallas officers who launched a high speed chase. It ended with five arrests being made in Dallas.
Police indicate that of the five, one suspect, a 16-year-old, “is considered responsible” for Baker’s death. Today, that 16-year-old has been charged with capital murder. The others may be charged in connection as well.