January 1, 1982
June 9, 2018
Age at Death:
Little is available on Ms. Anderson's early life. She was living in Philadelphia at the time of her death. Friends describe her as a wonderful, caring person who took care of three daughters as well as nieces and nephews, or the children of neighbors when they needed help. Family members said Ms. Anderson was trying to get her life together after several brushes with the law. She had been arrested more than 15 times over the last 18 years — for shoplifting but also for more serious charges, including firearms violations and attempted murder.
Ms. Anderson and two others allegedly were shoplifting over $3,400 in merchandise from a Marshalls store in Deptford Township, New Jersey. As they tried to leave, loss prevention officers intervened. While one of the three suspects allegedly fought with a store employee, Ms. Anderson and the third suspect ran for their vehicle. As they drove out of the parking lot, with Ms. Anderson at driving, her open door struck one responding Deptford police officer and she reportedly headed for another officer. The 17-year police veteran fired on the vehicle, hitting the driver in the forehead, killing her. There was no body cam as the officers do not wear them. The family of Ms. Anderson filed a $10 million federal lawsuit.
Was justice served?
No. It was a shoplifting crime, and police would normally not have been called. The officers were cleared of any wrongdoing. Police should not have even been on site. She was sought by Delaware police in the prior year for a series of shoplifting incidents at Marshalls stores in that state. When a loss prevention officer at Marshalls called 911 about the alleged shoplifters, he was told by a police dispatcher that store personnel were responsible for stopping shoplifters (according to the lawsuit filed by Ms. Anderson's family). “In an apparent attempt to have the police respond to the scene, the Marshalls employee falsely stated that there was a manslaughter warrant for one of the suspected shoplifters,” the federal lawsuit states, which prompted Clements and Capt. William Bittner to respond.