Relatives of a slain Ames convenience store clerk said they are struggling to accept the death of a woman they described as a "free-spirited girl."
Family member said they knew Lacrissa Davis had a difficult relationship with her boyfriend, whom police believe shot the woman multiple times Sunday before killing himself.
But that didn't make it any easier for them to understand how her life could suddenly be ended.
"It's hard," said Leo Hall, Davis' uncle on her mother's side. "My sister is taking it minute by minute. Since it happened yesterday, a lot of family members are coming to help, a lot of friends are helping out."
Hall said family is planning for a funeral this weekend.
Police believe Davis was killed by her 33-year-old boyfriend, Tony Hayes. He was seen leaving the Casey's General Store on foot, then was spotted riding a bicycle toward Nevada. When a Nevada officer stopped him, Hayes fired shots at the officer and drove off in the squad car.
Police used stop sticks to puncture the squad car tires, and when officers approached the vehicle they found Hayes dead, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Hall said the family's effort to accept her loss was made more difficult by an inability to understand why it happened.
"The sad part of it is, we're never going to know why he did what he did," Hall said. "I think that's the hardest part, not knowing why."
According to court records, Tony Hayes had initially pleaded guilty to harassment charges filed against him by Lacrissa Davis in May, but later accepted a plea deal. He paid a $975 fine and was released on June 16 for time served.