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Police fatally shoot shoplifting suspect as she drives SUV at them

Police in Deptford Township shot and killed a 36-year-old Philadelphia woman who tried to run over an officer on Saturday after a shoplifting attempt at a Marshalls department store. The woman had a long criminal record.

Police fatally shot a suspected shoplifter Saturday at this strip mall in Deptford in Gloucester County
Police fatally shot a suspected shoplifter Saturday at this strip mall in Deptford in Gloucester CountyRead moreMelanie Burney

A Philadelphia man wanted in a weekend shoplifting attempt at a Marshalls store in Deptford that left an alleged accomplice dead after she tried to run over a police officer remained at large Monday, authorities said.

The investigation is continuing into the incident that occurred Saturday when two officers were called to the Marshalls, in a strip mall at 1800 Clements Bridge Rd., at about 3:40 p.m., to respond to a report that a man and two women were shoplifting there. A security guard in the store had recognized one of the suspects from a state police bulletin about an organized retail theft ring targeting the Marshalls chain.

Upon arrival, the officers saw the male suspect, Raoul Gadson, 43, of Philadelphia,  struggling with store security guards. Gadson fled as the officers approached, while the two women — LaShanda Anderson, 36, and Chanel Barnes, 27, both of Philadelphia —  jumped into their rented Nissan Armada.

Police ordered Anderson, the driver, to stop, but she accelerated and headed for them. She struck one officer, a patrol captain with 27 years on the force, with her open driver-side door.   Witnesses said she then "accelerated straight at the [other] officer," who fired in self-defense, prosecutors said.

The second officer, a sergeant and 17-year veteran, fired three shots at Anderson, causing the car to veer and narrowly miss him. Anderson was pronounced dead at the scene; the Gloucester County Medical Examiner's autopsy on Sunday confirmed she died of gunshot wounds.

Barnes, the passenger, was taken into custody and charged with shoplifting. She is in the Salem County jail pending a hearing.

Gadson, who was charged with second-degree robbery and assault, escaped and remains at large, Bernie Weisenfeld, a spokesman for the county Prosecutor's Office said Monday morning.

The police captain struck by the car door was uninjured.  The sergeant will be placed on leave pending the completion of an investigation into the shooting. Authorities did not identify the officers involved.

In a statement, Gloucester County prosecutors said the three suspects had left the store with "with a substantial amount of unpaid merchandise."

All three suspects have long criminal records and a pattern of arrests for shoplifting.   In October, the Delaware State Police put out a public message identifying Anderson as part of a ring that had been stealing items from Marshalls stores in Wilmington and Newark.   Gadson and Barnes were not identified in that October alert.

Anderson had been arrested more than 15 times over the last 18 years, repeatedly for shoplifting, but also for a series of far more serious offenses, including firearms violations and a charge of attempted murder.

The attempted-murder accusation stemmed from February 2015, when  Anderson allegedly had a confrontation with other women at a laundromat in the Nicetown section.  A woman was shot in both legs in the episode.   The attempted-murder charge was dismissed in 2016 as part of a plea bargain that had her pleading guilty to a minor charge and she was put on probation for five years.

In 2006, a Philadelphia judge sentenced her to serve at least two years in prison for a host of convictions ranging from shoplifting to robbery.  After serving that sentence, she was arrested several more times on new charges.

Gadson has been arrested numerous times since turning 18 on charges including theft and drug dealing. He was repeatedly jailed as a result.  His most recent case was last fall when he was convicted of shoplifting and drug offenses in Bethlehem and ordered to serve seven weeks to 23 months in jail.

Barnes has been arrested seven times for shoplifting in incidents that typically resulted in a probationary sentence.  Her records include two convictions for fleeing police.  Early last year, she was charged with shoplifting and giving false identification to police.  She was jailed for at least six months.

The Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office is investigating the robbery and shooting. Authorities ask that anyone with information call the office at 856-384-5500.

Staff writer Melanie Burney contributed to this article.