Investigators are still questioning why a woman walked up to a vehicle parked outside a Jonesboro Waffle House last week and opened fire, killing the woman inside.
Jasmine Monica Kirk, 35, has been arrested in the June 19 shooting that killed Mary Branch, 33. Acting Jonesboro police Chief Wilfred Norwood confirmed Branch’s identity to AJC.com on Thursday.
He said detectives don’t know what could have motivated the killing. Branch was sitting in her SUV waiting for her to-go order outside the Tara Boulevard restaurant when she was shot multiple times. She was dead when police arrived about 4 a.m.
Witnesses told detectives the woman who fired the shots returned to her own vehicle and drove away. Later that morning, authorities released surveillance photos they said showed the suspect entering the Waffle House shortly before the shooting.
Kirk was identified from the photos and was in police custody by the end of the day.
It is unknown if the two women knew each other, Norwood said. Both Kirk and Branch lived in Jonesboro but were originally from Minnesota, he said.
Friends are raising funds to get Branch’s body back to Minnesota, where her two children are spending the summer with their father. They hope to bury her there, according to a GoFundMe page.
The page had raised more than $2,500 of its $7,000 goal as of Thursday afternoon.
Kirk has been held in the Clayton County Jail since her arrest Friday night. She is accused of malice murder, possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime and firing a gun near a public road.
Her bond was denied Monday ahead of a preliminary hearing, which is scheduled for July 27.
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