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Police Say Ex-Boyfriend Shot, Killed Winters Woman

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Nick Janes Nick Janes
Nick Janes joined KOVR/KMAX in December 2008 as a reporter. Nick...
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WINTERS (CBS13) – Police have identified the man accused of shooting and killing a Winters woman Monday morning while she sat in her SUV.

Police say the suspect, William Carl Gardner III, is the woman’s ex-boyfriend.

Leslie Pinkston was sitting in a black BMW SUV at 312 Railroad Avenue near Edwards Street, when someone fired three shots into the vehicle at close range, according to Winters police.

“From what we can see, it appears she was sitting in the vehicle,” said an officer. “We don’t know if the suspect…was he inside the vehicle or outside the vehicle.”

On Monday night, family and friends gathered for a vigil at the place Leslie was killed.

“You know we all grew up with Leslie,” friend Christy Bautista said. “We love her so much.”

Loved ones shed tears, hugs and memories of Pinkston, who leaves behind a little girl.

“Leslie would help anybody that needed anything and had the biggest heart, and was the best mother,” said Bautista.

Pinkston was rushed to the hospital, clinging to life.

“We were hopeful. I was hopeful, but then I got the news she was no longer with us, and I still can’t believe it,” friend Zaida Demment said.

Winters police Chief Sergio Gutierrez says the suspect is “coldblooded to take the life of another person” and “is a threat to the community and public.”

“Better hope the police catch him before I do,” said Richard Haywood, Pinkston’s cousin. “That’s what I have to say to him; that’s all I got to say to him.”

“Turn yourself in, now, because you need to face every single punishment that’s coming,” said Demment.

Gardner was ordered by a court to stay 100 yards away from Pinkston, her daughter and her mother until April, 2014. That order came after Gardner allegedly went to Pinkston’s mother’s home and threw a chair through the front window, hitting a vehicle in the driveway. He was charged with vandalism and making threats.

Pinkston’s daughter is staying with family.

Schools in the Winters Joint Unified School District were placed on lockdown as a precaution. Some area businesses were also on lockdown.

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