New Zealand tourist robbed and killed outside Newport Beach mall, police say

A 68-year-old woman visiting from New Zealand was walking with her husband just outside a Newport Beach mall when she was robbed and killed by three men, police said.

Patricia McKay was outside the Fashion Island mall shopping center, near Santa Rosa Drive and Newport Center Drive, around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday when two men approached her and her husband and tried to rob them — one of the suspects allegedly armed with a handgun, according to the Newport Beach Police Department. 

“There was a struggle, and at this point, we believe the suspects dragged her into the street,” Sgt. Steve Oberon said.

Police investigate the scene outside a Newport Beach mall where authorities say three men robbed and killed a woman visiting from New Zealand.


Then, a third man driving a white Toyota Camry struck and killed McKay during the course of the robbery, Oberon said. 

Another one of the men fired a gun three times, according to police. 

McKay was pronounced dead at the scene. Her body was found in the parking lot just outside the Barnes and Noble bookstore.

“I felt so terrible for that woman and that person at that point, it just wasn’t right,” said Beau Bayless, a good samaritan who tried to help the couple. He said one of the suspects shot at him during the struggle. 

The three men suspected in the robbery fled the area and led police on a pursuit that traveled onto the northbound 405 Freeway and into Los Angeles County, police said. The car stopped at one point in Cypress, where one of the suspects got out, and then continued driving into a neighborhood in South Gate, where aerial footage showed both men running from the car as one of them hid behind some trash cans.

All three men have been arrested. On Wednesday, police identified them as Joseph McCrary Leroyernest, 26, of Compton; Jaden Cunningham, 18, of Lancaster; and Edward Darnell Malachi, 18, of Los Angeles. 

The day of the killing, witnesses outside the Orange County shopping center said they heard three to four gunshots before everyone tried to take cover. Police told people to avoid the area as they continued to investigate. 

“I expected to go and fix my sunglasses,” shopper Rachel West said. “I didn’t know that there was going to be a crime scene and dead body when I got here.”  

Following the arrests of the three suspects Tuesday, Newport Beach City Mayor Will O’Neill said the area is typically safe. 

“I’m horrified. I’m mourning the loss of someone who died inside of our city because of crime,” O’Neill said. “This is a tragedy and I’m furious.”  

On Tuesday, authorities said the suspects allegedly robbed the woman before jumping into the car and running her over but police released new details Wednesday offering a slightly different account.

The victim was initially described as 69 years old but police identified her on Wednesday as a 68-year-old woman.

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