MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A man has been arrested after he killed his wife in front of their children in April.
Michael McKinnie was arrested Tuesday after nearly two weeks of hiding.
His wife, 32-year-old LaTarica Stripling, leaves behind three children; a 14-year-old son, 8-year-old daughter and 3-year-old baby girl.
“The hardest part is trying to figure out how to move forward without her. I never imagined not growing old without my sister. I never imagined my sister’s kids having to grow up without their mom,” TaTarica’s sister LaToya Stripling said.
She was found dead near the Crescent Bluffs Apartments at the corner of Kentucky Street and Virginia Avenue. Her two daughters were in the car with her when she was shot and killed outside the Crescent Bluff Apartments.
“She was a joyful person. She loved to dress, she loved her kids. That was the first priority, she was family-oriented. She was basically an overall good person,” her friend Erica Webber said.
Stripling’s family said she and McKinnie had problems in the past and that she left him two months ago.
“She was doing all she could to get away from him,” LaToya Stripling said.
According to Shelby County Court documents, McKinnie was arrested for aggravated assault in 2017.
Stripling told police McKinnie strangled her until she passed out and said "I told you I was going to kill you today."
Those charges were dismissed for a lack of prosecution.
The Stripling family said they plan to come together to help raise LaTarica’s three kids.
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, more than 77,000 incidents were flagged as domestic-related in 2017 and resulted in 81 murder victims.