‘She’d Light Up The Room’: Pennsylvania Community Mourns Loss of Beloved Teacher Gunned Down In Drive-Thru with Her 11-Year-Old Son In the Back Seat

A Pennsylvania community is mourning the loss of a beloved teacher who was gunned down in a drive-thru line on Tuesday morning while her 11-year-old son sat in the back seat.

According to Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, Rachel King was sitting in the drive-thru line of a Dunkin’ Donuts when a hooded gunman approached the driver’s side of her SUV and fired multiple shots through her window at approximately 7:39 a.m. on Tuesday. King’s 11-year-old son, who was sitting in the back seat, was not wounded.

Rachel King sitting in her car with her son in the backseat. (Photo: Screenshot from Rachel King’s Facebook page)

“This appears to be a targeted murder,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said in a statement. “The gunman did not attempt to open the victim’s vehicle door, nor did he appear to communicate with her prior to shooting her numerous times through her driver’s side window.”

The 35-year-old was a teacher at Mastery Charter’s Grover Cleveland Elementary School in the Tioga-Nicetown section of Philadelphia, according to ABC 6 News.

“She’d light up the room,” King’s brother, Allen King, told ABC News. “She was bright in every way possible, whether it was her shoes, her hair, her nails, her voice. And she was just a good person.”

Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office said that the suspect they are searching for is a Black male with a thin build. He drove away from the scene in a light-colored sedan, possibly a Ford or Mercury. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports police used local surveillance cameras to determine the sedan had been following King’s SUV before she pulled into the Dunkin’ parking lot, and the driver of that vehicle parked in that lot when King arrived before he got out of the car to carry out the shooting.

The CEO of Mastery Charter Schools and parents were devastated when they heard of the tragic news.

“We’re heartbroken,” said Scott Gordon, CEO of Mastery Charter Schools, to ABC News.

Gordon said King had been with the school for 10 years. She reportedly taught seventh and eighth-grade history.

“She was really the heart of this community and to lose her is just a tremendous blow for the kids, the families, for the staff,” Gordon said. “She was the person who organizes things like graduations and trips. She was just a remarkable and very special person.”

Gordon also stated that King had a front license plate that read “teacher life.”

“It’s just sad for her to lose her life like that. She was out here doing good, helping the children,” said Vivian Rainey, a parent, to ABC News.

Gordon reportedly delayed the start of school on Wednesday and brought in support staff to help the ones that were grieving.

The suspect is still at large, and investigators have asked if anyone has any information to contact Cheltenham Township police or Montgomery County detectives.

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