Nearly a week after she was shot in the head at a 24-hour convenience store, a 48-year-old East St. Louis woman died Friday at St. Louis University Hospital.
Angela Heard was a dancer.
She studied under Sylvester "Sunshine" Lee, a well known African dance and drum teacher who studied under Katherine Dunham, said her best friend, Lisa Lacy.
Heard traveled the world had just moved back to East St. Louis after falling on some hard times. And, she had been living in the Orr-Weathers public housing complex for about three months, Lacy said.
Heard left her apartment early Monday and went to the store, which is across the street from her home at 15th Street and Missouri Avenue.
"She was shot between 4:30 and 5 a.m.," said Lacy who has known Heard since seventh-grade. Lacy said Heard's family is upset over the tragic end to their loved one's life -- and they want someone to pay for their actions.
"Her parents are deceased, but she has brothers and sisters and a bunch of nieces. Everybody is taking this very hard," Lacy said.
A candlelight vigil is planned for Heard at 6:45 p.m. Sunday at Lincoln Park.
Illinois State Police Capt. Jim Morrisey said East St. Louis police officers found Heard early Monday. Heard, who was shot in her head, died Friday night. She became the city's 11th homicide victim.
Lacy said she was with her when she took her last breath,
"Ann was full of life and she lived life on her own terms. I watched my best friend take her last breath last night. I held her hand until her last heartbeat. I wiped the lone tear from her eye as I told her goodbye," said Lacy.
Heard's money, debit card and other things are missing and Lacy said she and family members believe robbery was the motive.
Morrisey said investigators are not naming any suspects and a motive for the murder has not been established.
Anyone with any information regarding this case is asked to call East St. Louis police at 482-6700, Illinois State police at 346-3990 or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-371- TIPS. (This is an anonymous top line that pays up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.)