Mother seeking justice one year after daughter was shot and killed by mistake | News


A little over a year ago, a young woman living in Northampton was killed in Springfield by a drive-by shooter.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — Getting Answers: True Crime.

A little over a year ago, a young woman living in Northampton was killed in Springfield by a drive-by shooter.

An innocent bystander was shot by mistake. Her mother continues to grieve her loss, as she says gun violence is on the rise in the city.

Western Mass News is getting answers on what happened that night in June of 2020, and what’s being done to keep this from happening again.

Tangela Clark remembers the last words she spoke to her daughter. The two were planning to have one of their regular weekend dinners.

“She said tomorrow I’m going to get all the seasonings, and I’ll be back tomorrow,” Clark recalled.

But tomorrow never came for 37-year-old Tamara Clark.

The Springfield native was murdered just down the street from her mom’s house, and her case remains unsolved.

“She was so smart and beautiful, and I just hate they took that away from her,” Clark said.

On June 26, 2020, at around 10 p.m., Clark got the phone call every parent prays will never come.

“It felt like a truck hit me that night,” Clark said.

Her daughter was shot to death at the Valero Gas Station on Oakland Street in Springfield as she was catching up with an old friend.

“She was a truly an unintended and innocent victim,” Springfield Police Department Spokesperson Ryan Walsh said.

Western Mass News is digging deeper into what unfolded that June night.

“It was a Friday night detectives believe she spotted someone she knew and went to say hello. Someone drove by in a car and opened fire striking both her and the person believed to be the intended target,” Walsh explained.

Clark said to her knowledge there were two people in the car that night, the shooter and the driver.

Yet, no one has been charged in her daughter’s case.

“An innocent woman gets killed in the city, and there’s no outrage at all,” Clark said.

There was video from both Valero and a nearby building that captured the incident that night.

“They know the vehicle, they know the license plate, they know where the vehicle came from,” Clark said.

But Walsh said it doesn’t show who was in the car or the shooter making it difficult to implicate someone.

While the other victim of the shooting survived, they have not come forward with information.

“Unfortunately, the other victim was not too cooperative or unable to cooperate with police,” Walsh said.

Despite being Tamara’s friend something that still hurts her mother to this day.

[Reporter: How does that make you feel knowing they saw who that was?]

“Angry, angry,” Clark said.

But it’s something she said the streets of Springfield are all too familiar with.

“We live amongst people that murder our children,” Clark said.

While she can never get her daughter back, Clark hopes more will be done to prevent gun violence in the area.

“I don’t feel safe here in this city at all,” Clark explained.

We brought Clark’s concerns to Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.

He said in a statement quote, “SPD continues to investigate this sad and unfortunate incident. Ms. Clark was an innocent and unintended victim of gun violence. Unfortunately, as SPD tries to investigate illegal gun incidents and crimes, they more often than not receive little to no cooperation.”

But the mayor is hoping to make a change, continuing on to say quote, “This is again proof that our justice system is broken and why I will continue to push for bail reform legislation in the Commonwealth to get these repeat violent criminal offenders off our streets and out of our neighborhoods so, tragedies like this do not occur.”

Recently the department created a new firearms investigation unit that has seized over 113 illegal guns so far this year.

But Clark wants to see someone held accountable for her daughter’s death, and she’s hopeful someone will come forward a year later.

“There comes a time when you have to do the right thing, and this is the time,” Clark said.

If there’s change in the city, she believes another innocent life could be saved.

We also asked Sarno about increasing the police presence in that area. He tells us units respond to the ShotSpotter calls in a quote, “very quick fashion.”

If you have any information on Tamara’s murder, you can text a tip anonymously to the Springfield Police Department, type CRIMES, and then SOLVE, with your message.

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