Family members say occasional bouts of violence punctuated April Peck's relationship with Terrell Walker, the 48-year-old father of her two children authorities believe fatally shot her and tossed her from a car Sunday evening shortly after picking her up from work.
A violent fit of jealous rage landed Walker in jail two weeks ago, accused in a police report of choking Peck and stepping on her face during an argument outside his mother's house. When a Baton Rouge district court judge let Walker free on bail three days later, the judge ordered him to stay away from Peck.
Although her relatives say she threw him out of the house, Peck continued to occasionally see Walker — with whom she had two young sons — and let him use her car to commute to a job on the west side of the river.
Early Sunday morning, Peck and her sister, Dannlleshia Peck, drove back from New Orleans. During that drive, Dannlleshia Peck said, her younger sister complained about Walker's jealousy and worried that he might kill her.
Just a few hours later, some 30 minutes after Walker picked April Peck up from her 10 a.m.-to-5 p.m. shift at Roses discount store on Florida Boulevard, Walker shot her in her Chevy Malibu and pushed her out into the intersection at Essen Lane and United Plaza Boulevard.
In south Louisiana, a season supposedly devoted to peace on Earth and goodwill toward men ha…
When motorists stopped to help the 30-year-old Peck — including a physician, a 17-year-old Central High School student training to be an EMT and the crew of a passing ambulance — Walker returned and attacked them, shooting the teenager and running over two of them, according to the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office.
Daniel Wesley, the teenager shot by Walker, is scheduled to go into surgery Tuesday for a second time to treat two gunshot wounds, a broken arm and a broken leg, said his mother, Kathy Wesley.
Kathy Welsey said her son was attempting to staunch the bleeding from Peck's wounds when Walker crashed into the collected bystanders, throwing Daniel Wesley into the nearby East Baton Rouge EMS ambulance.
Walker stepped out of the car firing, striking Wesley once before chasing after others. Walker returned and shot Wesley a second time and ran him over as he tried to flee, the teen's mother said.
"If you help her, I'm going to kill you," Kathy Wesley said Walker told her son and others who'd stopped to try to save the fatally injured woman.
Walker escaped, but less than four hours later, he was dead, fatally wounded in a gunfight with sheriff's deputies 2 miles away at Interstate 10 and Bluebonnet.
Maj. Bryan White, chief of detectives for the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, said deputies quickly identified Walker as the suspected gunman through prior brushes with the law. Deputies killed Walker when he opened fire after being confronted just before 9 p.m., White said.
Autopsies for both Peck and Walker are scheduled Tuesday, said Dr. William "Beau" Clark Jr., East Baton Rouge Parish coroner.
The East Baton Rouge EMS ambulance crew had just left the nearby Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center when a driver on Essen Lane flagged them down and pointed them toward Peck, who lay wounded in the roadway.
All three paramedics aboard the ambulance scrambled for cover when Walker showed up and opened fire, said Mike Chutz, an EMS spokesman. None of the EMS workers were struck or hurt during the attack.
"This was the first time in the history of Baton Rouge EMS — as far as I know of — that we were directly fired upon like that," Chutz said.
A 17-year-old Central High senior is in the hospital with a list of painful injuries — a pair of bullet wounds, a broken arm and a broken leg …
Dannlleshia Peck, 32, said April Peck was a doting mother to the couple's two boys, ages 4 and 7. While scrolling through old text messages with her younger sister Monday morning, Dannlleshia Peck paused to show flight reservations for a pair of trips the sisters had planned: this coming weekend together in Florida and New Year's Eve in Atlanta.
Dannlleshia Peck said she last saw Walker on Thanksgiving night, which they spent at a club. At the end of the night, she said, Walker worried about his relationship with her sister and parted by saying it'd be the last time they'd see him.
"I never thought it'd go that far," Peck said Monday at her apartment just doors from the place her sister once shared with her killer. "I'd just wish I'd taken time to talk to him more."
Walker had a violent past well-documented in East Baton Rouge court records. He was arrested on a count of first-degree murder in the October 1991 slaying of 23-year-old Morris Hall — who while dying identified Walker as his killer — and pleaded guilty to manslaughter. A judge sentenced him in 1992 to 10½ years in prison.
Walker also pleaded guilty in 2006 to a reduced charge of attempted possession of a firearm by a felon and was sentenced to 2½ years in prison. The original charge was stalking with a dangerous weapon.
Those who knew April Peck described her boyfriend as possessive, insecure and jealous. Walker told sheriff's deputies after being arrested for domestic battery on Nov. 15 that their fight began "because she was cheating on him." Her sister said he frequently made that accusation even though, she said, it wasn't true.
According to court records, Walker's estranged ex-wife, who divorced him in 2005, told police on multiple occasions that he physically abused her and threatened to kill her. Over several months, Walker allegedly broke into her home, implied over the phone he would kill her and, on one occasion, chased her down the street and dragged her into a car.
Employees at Roses, the Florida Boulevard discounter where April Peck worked, said she appeared fine during her shift. But Jerretta Muse, a manager at the store, said Peck would occasionally confide about her troubled relationship with Walker.