Mother killed while waiting to pick daughter up from work in Warren, police say

Jennifer Wentz fatally shot through car window, officials say

WARREN, Mich. – Warren police are still searching for the person who shot and killed a mother who was waiting in the parking lot of a Warren store to pick her daughter up from work.

The shooting happened around 2 a.m. Monday in a shopping complex on Hoover Road, just south of 11 Mile Road, according to authorities.

Someone approached Jennifer Wentz’s car with a gun and shot her from behind, police said. Authorities believe the incident was an attempted carjacking and robbery.

The family of Wentz, 43, of Roseville, is concerned about what’s next. The single mother had no money for a funeral.

“It’s not about us,” Justina French, an employee in the shopping complex, said. “It’s that family that we need to think about today and what they’re going through.”

A group of Kroger employees who weren’t able to get into work because of the investigation looked on as investigators worked to figure out what happened.

“Somebody lost a mother,” Jim Message, another worker, said. “We’re all waiting to get into work and all that, but the real-life thing is that somebody lost their life.”

Wentz went to rue21 to pick up her 19-year-old daughter, who was working an overnight stocking shift, police said. She needed to be picked up, according to officials.

Warren police Commissioner Bill Dwyer said the left, rear window of Wentz’s car was open. He said someone walked up, stuck a gun through the window and shot Wentz once in the back.

“We recovered some evidence at the scene,” Dwyer said.

Store employees heard the shots, looked outside and saw that Wentz’s car had somehow been put into gear. It moved across the parking lot and came to rest against a railing. Police believe the shooter walked there before fleeing the scene.

“It doesn’t appear that he got anything,” Dwyer said.

“Some cheap so-and-so that doesn’t know how to work for a living decided to rob somebody and kill somebody,” a worker said. “I think society needs to wake up.”

Dwyer said this is the first Warren murder in more than two years between a victim and suspect who didn’t have a connection to each other. He said that makes it more difficult to solve, but he’s confident they’ll make an arrest, hopefully within 24 hours.

Jennifer Wentz
Jennifer Wentz (WDIV)

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