Family of teacher shot, killed in Dunkin' drive-thru speaks to Action News

"She was one of the best teachers, she did her very best at this school, very best," said King's friend.

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Friday, April 14, 2023
Family of teacher shot, killed in Dunkin' drive-thru speaks out
Family of teacher shot, killed in Dunkin' drive-thru speaks out

CHELTENHAM TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- It's been two days since 35-year-old mother and teacher, Rachel King, was shot and killed in Cheltenham Township.

Her brother, Allen King, told Action News on Thursday his family is now rallying behind his 11-year-old nephew.

"Getting him the help he needs, getting him in front of a trauma counselor, a child psychiatrist. I can't imagine what's going through his head," he said.

The Montgomery County District Attorney's Office said King was shot multiple times while behind the wheel of her SUV.

It happened around 7:40 a.m. in Cheltenham Township.

According to investigators, she was driving westbound on Cheltenham Avenue when she turned into the Melrose Shopping Center, then pulled into the Dunkin' drive-thru lane.

The D.A.'s office said a light-colored sedan, possibly a Ford or Mercury, was seen driving directly behind her.

The driver of that car parked a short distance away from the drive-thru, walked up to the driver's side of King's vehicle, and fired multiple shots through the window, officials say.

READ | Woman shot, killed at Cheltenham Twp. drive-thru identified; photo released of suspect's vehicle

Authorities have identified the woman who was shot and killed while she waited at a Dunkin' drive-thru Tuesday morning.

The man then got back into his car and fled eastbound on Cheltenham Avenue.

King's 11-year-old son was in the backseat of the car. He was not injured.

District Attorney Kevin Steele said this appears to be a targeted murder. He said the suspect did not try to open the door or communicate with King before firing.

She was a teacher at Grover Cleveland Elementary School in the Mastery Charter school system in Tioga-Nicetown.

"We are devastated by the loss of an extraordinary teacher, who spent the last 10 years working with our students and their families," the school system said in a statement.

Grover Cleveland Elementary had a two-hour delay on Wednesday. Social workers and counselors will be available for those in need of support.

"She was one of the best teachers, she did her very best at this school, very best," said Charise Jones of Tioga-Nicetown.

King's boyfriend spoke to Action News off-camera. He said she was taking her son to violin practice when she was shot.

He said he has no idea who would want to do this.

King's boyfriend went on to say she was a loving mother, who was working towards a master's degree and getting her principal's certificate.

Students and parents from Grover Cleveland Elementary are grieving her loss.

"I had a friendship with this lady. A friendship, a very good friend, not just from the school, but outside of the school. She gave me great advice," said Jones.

Thursday afternoon King's school held a memorial in her honor asking students and staff to wear orange, her favorite color.

The school invited King's family to attend. Allen King said it was the first bright spot he's had this week since his sister's death.

"It was probably the most joyful tears I was crying in the last three days," he said. "She loved that school, she loved teaching, she loved her students, they loved her back and you could just feel it."

"It felt like a hug, but just seeing the balloons go up in the sky, I looked up. Probably the first time in three days I looked up because I was looking down, not up," he added.

The family will begin planning her funeral on Friday.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Cheltenham Township Police Department at 215-885-1600 (extension 400) or Montgomery County Detectives at 610-226-5553.