Typically nice Fashion Island shopping day turns ugly as out-of-town “thugs” attempt robbery, leading to killing of woman

On Tuesday, July 2 at 3:38 p.m., the Newport Beach Police Department dispatch center received several 911 calls regarding an attempted robbery that had just occurred in the Fashion Island area, near Barnes & Noble.

Upon arrival, witnesses reported to police that two male suspects, one armed with a handgun, attempted to rob two victims as they walked in the area. During the course of the robbery, one victim was struck by a white sedan that was driven by a third suspect.

The victim, later identified as Patricia McKay, a 68-year-old female visiting from New Zealand, tragically died at the scene.

During the robbery, one of the suspects fired a handgun three times. Fortunately, no one was struck by the gunfire.

The three suspects then fled the area in the white sedan.

NBPD officers located the suspect’s vehicle as it fled the scene and attempted a traffic stop. However, the suspects refused to stop and a pursuit ensued onto the northbound 405 freeway.

NBPD officers were assisted by several agencies including Huntington Beach Police airship HB1, California Highway Patrol, Los Alamitos PD, Cypress PD, Westminster PD, Garden Grove PD, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Southgate PD, ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) and Orange County Sheriff’s Communications (Control 1).

During the course of the pursuit, the suspect vehicle stopped at a location in Cypress, where one suspect fled on foot, but was soon located and arrested by responding officers.

Meanwhile, the suspect vehicle continued into Los Angeles County where the two remaining suspects abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot. Responding officers located and arrested them also.

All three male suspects were transported to the NBPD Jail, where they were booked for 187(A) PC – Homicide, 211PC – Robbery with Firearm, and 182 PC – Conspiracy.

The suspects were identified as Leroyernest Joseph McCrary, 26, a resident of Compton; Jaden Cunningham,18, Lancaster and Malachi Eddward Darnell, 18, Los Angeles.

Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill lashed out at the suspects during a news conference, calling them “creeps” and decrying the “stunning, staggering” attack.

“Newport Beach is a safe community and we’re mourning the loss of someone,” he said. “Frankly, to hell with these guys…These are thugs. Every community is now dealing with this. We have to do better as a society. We cannot tolerate this.”

O’Neill praised law enforcement officers for collaring the three suspects, but he said, “None of that brings her back.”

The incident is still being actively investigated. If anyone has any information who was not contacted by officers or detectives, please contact Detective K. Markwald at kmarkwald@nbpd.org.