DENTON, Texas (AP) — Police on Monday were investigating the death of a 20-year-old University of North Texas student who was fatally shot early New Year’s Day after an exchange of words between people in the vehicle she was driving and people in a nearby sport utility vehicle.
Denton police spokesman Shane Kizer said authorities have made no arrests, but they do have some persons of interest they are looking into to determine whether they have a connection to the case.
Police say someone in the SUV fired on Sara Mutschlechner’s vehicle, striking her in the head. The SUV, which was carrying five or six men, fled.
Police say Mutschlechner was serving as the designated driver after attending a New Year’s Eve party when the exchange happened on a road in Denton, about 40 miles northwest of Dallas. Kizer said police have been told at least two people in the SUV were at the same party, but there’s no indication that there was any encounter with them at the party or that they knew them personally.
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Kizer said the exchange between those in the two vehicles started with “chit chat” before the conversation “went downhill” after something derogatory was said about the women in Mutschlechner’s car.
Police said that as the vehicles crossed an intersection, someone in the SUV fired multiple rounds. Kizer said that after Mutschlechner was struck by a bullet, her vehicle hit another vehicle and crashed into an electrical pole.
Kizer said Mutschlechner had three passengers: another woman and two men. The other woman broke her collarbone in the wreck and was treated and released from the hospital.
Kizer said Mutschlechner was a member of a sorority and was from Martindale, a small town about 40 miles south of Austin.