Woman killed while riding in SUV with husband was just minutes from home before shooting

KATY, Texas -- A 62-year-old woman was killed Tuesday night when someone opened fire on the SUV she was riding in with her husband in Texas.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office says Saron James, who was going home from a doctor's appointment, was shot through the passenger window of their white Isuzu Rodeo just before 6:30 p.m. at Old Greenhouse Road at Windy Stone.

Her husband, Cleveland James, told deputies he thought he heard fireworks before noticing the passenger window was shattered.

He explained that he didn't realize at first that his wife had been shot in the head.

"I didn't even duck. I just turned away because there was smoke. I thought it was firecrackers and all this smoke started coming out and the force of the explosion. I turned to my wife and said, 'Saron, did you see that?' And she just was slumped over and that was the biggest shock to me," Cleveland explained.

Cleveland pulled over and screamed for help, flagging down other drivers.

He held a rag to his wife's face to stop the bleeding.

"Blood was all over, and it really struck me. How could this happen? I kept saying, 'Saron, stay with us, baby, stay with us. Stay with us, don't leave, stay with us.' Tried to keep her focused. But there was no response," Cleveland said.

Saron was taken to a nearby hospital, where she died.

'It was a rude awakening' Husband talks about moment wife was killed
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'Stay with us, baby, stay with us.' Cleveland James said he did all he could to help his wife after she was shot.

Saron, who was from the Caribbean, and Cleveland, who was from Trinidad, had been married for 40 years.

After meeting at a bus stop in Brooklyn, Cleveland told ABC13 he knew he was going to marry Saron from the moment he saw her.

They moved to Houston from Brooklyn in 1985. They bought their first home in their neighborhood off Old Greenhouse.

Cleveland says he and his wife drove that road almost every day since it was a shortcut to their neighborhood.

Deputies said the couple was almost home and was talking about what they were going to have for dinner when the shooting occurred. They live just five minutes away from the grisly scene.

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The woman and her husband were just minutes away from their home when she was killed.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said their best lead is trying to track down a white Audi SUV seen speeding the opposite way, westbound on Old Greenhouse.

Witnesses reported the Audi was being driven by a black male in his early 20s with curly hair. They also told police they saw at least two other people in the vehicle.

"We believe the couple was complete innocent bystanders - maybe they just got caught in the middle of gunfire. We really don't know. We're trying to piece everything together," Sheriff Gonzalez said.

The sheriff says Saron could be the random victim of a separate road rage incident that happened earlier between other drivers. But that is still preliminary.

Family members who arrived at the scene late Tuesday broke down in tears.

"I'm just going to miss her. She's an amazing woman. She's a strong woman. I don't care how much we fussed, how much we fight, I know my mom loved me with every being in her body, and I just want people to know how big her heart is. She could preach to anybody," said Saron and Cleveland's daughter, Kelley Mock.

Relatives describe Saron as a very religious, faith-filled woman who was organized, hard working and a giver.

"She's strong-minded, but she's very organized. Woman knows the Bible thoroughly. I have met no one to this date who knew the Bible like my wife," Cleveland said.

He and his family have a message for his wife's killer.

"Give yourself up. You don't know what you have taken from us. You have taken an angel. That woman was an angel. You will answer to God," Cleveland said. "We didn't socialize much, but she was a giver in the background. What you did, you will pay for it. This woman was such an inspiration for a lot of people that you don't know."

"I want that person to be caught, but they can't bring her back. They can never bring her back, and it's just so devastating that someone could just do that, and they could go on about their day, and they just tore up our family," Mock said.

WATCH: 'You took an angel' Family remembers innocent woman killed
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'You took an angel' Family remembers innocent woman killed

Sheriff Gonzalez said this is just another example of senseless violence seen in recent weeks and months.

It's not confirmed that the man in the Audi was the shooter, but investigators want to talk with him.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office Homicide Unit is investigating Saron's murder.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Homicide Unit at 713-274-9200 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS(8477).

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