An 86-year-old woman was beaten to death this week when she was attacked while walking around a track at a high school outside Sacramento.
The victim was walking with a companion, a 61-year-old woman, around the track at North Highlands High School in an unincorporated area of Sacramento County when a man approached and assaulted them both using only his hands and feet.
The older woman was declared dead on scene; the younger woman was treated by responding paramedics, according to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.
The attack occurred about 6 a.m. Wednesday. A witness called 911, a sheriff’s sergeant told KTLA sister station KTXL in Sacramento.
The attacker was described only as a black man in his 30s about 5 feet 6 inches tall, 150 to 160 pounds, clean shaven and with short curly hair. He was wearing black sweat pants and a burgundy sweatshirt. He fled on foot.
The victims did not know the assailant and the motive for the attack isn't known, authorities said.
“It appears to be a stranger attack,” Sgt. Tony Turnbull told the Sacramento Bee.
A nearby resident told KTXL she sees the two victims walking together on the track every morning.
The high school was not closed on Wednesday as investigators worked at the crime scene. That upset some parents.
Twin Rivers Unified School District issued the following statement after the incident:
We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn that two women were randomly attacked while walking at the Highlands High School track early this morning. Unfortunately, one woman died from her injuries. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.
No students were on campus at the time. Highlands was placed on immediate lockdown. As a precaution, CCAA (7-12), Allison, MPR and Hillsdale were also on lockdown. While the lockdown has been lifted, Twin Rivers police officers will remain at Highlands and CCAA until the end of the school day.
The safety of our students and staff is our top priority, and we are doing everything possible to help students and staff cope with what happened this morning. We will continue to work together—parents, staff and community members—to ensure the safety of all.