The assailant who shot and killed a DoorDash driver as she made a delivery in Paterson earlier this month followed the victim from the pickup at a drive-through fast-food window to her destination before ambushing her, authorities said.
The killer's accused driver, 34-year-old ex-con Quadir Whitaker of East Orange, was arrested Monday afternoon and charged with murder and weapons offenses in the cold-blooded killing of 43-year-old Petra Rhoden the night of Oct. 4.
The actual shooter had been neither arrested nor identified as of early Tuesday afternoon, however. Nor did authorities suggest a motive for the killing.
Whitaker was driving a car that followed Rhoden as she made a delivery in the area of 259 Harrison Street, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Paterson Police Chief Troy Oswald said in a joint announcement Tuesday.
Whitaker's passenger got of that car when Rhoden emerged from hers, then came up from behind and shot her several times, they said.
Rhoden got back into her car and tried to drive away, but the vehicle crashed through a fence and into a shed.
The shooter, meanwhile, got back into the car with Whitaker and they drove off, Valdes and Oswald said.
Rhoden, who previously lived in Englewood and more recently in Paterson, was later pronounced dead at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center.
"I know I'm dreaming. I don't want to believe this," her daughter, Paterson rapper Free Bondz, wrote in a Facebook post. "I hate whoever did this. She was worried about no one."
"You can't even make money without being afraid for your life," family friend Annastasia Houchant posted. "That woman had kids, grandkids. She was a friend, mom, daughter, auntie, cousin, and all she was trynna do was make some [expletive] money. That's crazy."
Known as "Ladii," she was "a hard-working, strong woman," Paula Reid added.
Whitaker is charged with murder and various weapons counts, including being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Authorities said he also was charged with resisting arrest, but they didn't elaborate.
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