Fashion Island robbery: Newport Beach Mayor says 1 suspect 'shouldn’t have been in free society'

Police have identified the woman killed during an attempted robbery at Fashion Island in Newport Beach on Tuesday as a tourist from New Zealand, 68-year-old Patricia McKay. 

Three people have been arrested in connection with the failed robbery, including one who Newport Beach's Mayor said "shouldn’t have been in free society" because of his criminal history.

A memorial was growing Wednesday outside the Barnes and Noble where McKay died, with one message reading "Stop the senseless thefts!"

Following the deadly attempted robbery, police and mall security noticeably increased their patrol Wednesday at Fashion Island.

"It’s scary, and it’s not surprising when you’ve said it’s okay to be criminals," said Martha Bayer, a shopper.

"I actually just bought a stun gun that I’m going to keep in my purse now because of what just happened," said Terry Buchanan.

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According to police, McKay and her husband had been outside Barnes and Noble on Tuesday afternoon when two men tried robbing them at gunpoint. There was a struggle, then a third suspect ran over and killed McKay with their getaway car. The three suspects were located and arrested after a multi-county chase that came to an end in South Gate.

"The hell with these guys," said Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill. "They came into our city knowing they were going to commit crime and a woman is dead today because of it."

The suspects are now identified as 26-year-old Leroyernest McCrary from Compton, 18-year-old Jaden Cunningham from Lancaster, and 18-year-old Malachi Darnell from Los Angeles.

"As you must know, all three perpetrators were residents of Compton or Los Angeles," said Newport Beach councilmember Lauren Kleiman. "With the immediate pursuit, detention and arrest of all those involved, the message to anyone coming from Los Angeles — or anywhere else — to commit any crime here, is that the Newport Beach Police Department will apprehend you."

McCrary has had a history of arrests in Los Angeles County. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's inmate data, McCrary has been booked at least three times, including a felony arrest in Santa Monica in January 2023.

O'Neill addressed McCrary's history in a post on X Wednesday, saying "The devastating reality is that at least one of the men arrested yesterday for the robbery and murder of a woman in Newport Beach shouldn’t have been in free society. To hell with these guys, and to hell with every elected official who knew better and didn’t do better."

News of McKay’s death is being broadcast in New Zealand. A family spokesperson is asking the New Zealand media for privacy, adding, "No words can express our sadness as we try to come to terms with the loss of our mother, wife, and friend Patricia."

The victim’s husband has been identified by New Zealand press as Doug McKay, a well-known businessman. He was also injured during the attack, but is expected to be OK.