COMPILED FROM STAFF AND MEDIA REPORTS
DENTON — A 20-year-old former Martindale resident died in a north Texas hospital this evening after being shot in the head during what police have a characterized as an early morning road rage incident.
Sara Mutschlechner, an University of North Texas junior who graduated from San Marcos High School in 2013, was driving friends home from a party in Denton at about 2:03 a.m. when “words were exchanged between the occupants of the SUV and the occupants of the victim’s vehicle,” Denton police officer Shane Kizer said in a written statement to media. Mutschlechner died this evening after being taken off life support, Kizer said.
Here is the full press release from the Denton Police Department followed by video from the FOX network local news affiliate in Dallas:
The Denton Police Department received a call at 2:06 a.m. Jan. 1 in reference to a gunshot victim. Officers responded to the 1700 block of North Elm Street and found a single gunshot victim lying on the ground next to a four-door sedan. The sedan had crashed into an electrical pole.
Witnesses on the scene said the victim was in the driver’s seat operating the vehicle. There were three adult passengers in the vehicle, as well. A dark colored Toyota or Lexus sport’s utility vehicle drove up next to the sedan on N Elm St. Several words were exchanged between the occupants of the SUV and the occupants in the victim’s vehicle. As both vehicles were crossing the University Dr intersection, an occupant in the SUV fired multiple rounds at the victim. The victim was struck in the head. The victim’s vehicle ran into an uninvolved vehicle and then crashed into an electrical pole, finally coming to a stop. The SUV fled from the scene.
One of the passengers in the victim’s vehicle suffered minor injuries from the accident. The female passenger was taken to Denton Regional Medical Center where she was treated and released. The 20 year old female shooting victim was also transported to DRMC by Denton Fire and Rescue where she remains in critical condition. She is a current student at the University of North Texas and a former resident of Martindale.
Denton Police are trying to locate the black Lexus SUV. It was occupied by five or six African American males. Witnesses said at least two of the occupants were at a New Year’s Eve party on Crisoforo Drive early this morning. Attached is a picture of a flyer that was sent out on Facebook inviting people to attend the New Year’s Eve party. Anyone with information about the shooting or the occupants of the SUV should contact Investigator Eric Beckwith at 940-349-7974 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The investigation is ongoing.
3:10 p.m. Update
The 20-year-old female shooting victim is Sara Mutschlechner. She is on life support at this time. Witnesses said Sara was driving because she was the designated driver and had not been drinking.
7 p.m. Update
Sara was taken off life support and has since passed. It was learned though the investigation so far that approximately 60 people attended the New Year’s Eve party that Sara had attended earlier. Investigators are asking that anyone who attended the party and took pictures or video to please contact Investigator Beckwith at 940-349-7974.