Arlington grandmother was shot, beaten, choked to death, officials say

Posted Thursday, Jun. 06, 2013  Print Reprints
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The Arlington grandmother who was killed Tuesday morning during a carjacking that began in her driveway was choked, beaten and shot in the head, the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office reported Thursday.

“Gunshot wound and blunt force injuries of head with asphyxia” caused the death of 83-year-old Leona Swafford, the medical examiner ruled.

Initial police statements after her body was found Tuesday did not mention a gun or a gunshot wound. On Wednesday, authorities reported that the attacker had a handgun.

“From Day One, we were saying he should be considered armed and dangerous,” Tiara Richard, a police spokeswoman, said Thursday.

Swafford was attacked about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday as she pulled her 2010 Lincoln MKZ into her driveway in the 400 block of Sussex Drive near Vandergriff Park.

The man jumped her, fought off a neighbor and drove off with her still in the Lincoln. He slammed into a parked car as he fled.

Witnesses described the carjacker as a black man with very dark skin in his late 20s to late 30s, about 6 feet tall with a muscular build. He had short hair, “possibly 1/2-inch Afro,” and little or no facial hair.

He was wearing a light-colored shirt and bluejeans.

Oak Farms Dairy has offered a $10,000 reward for the killer’s arrest and indictment. Police have received about 80 tips, Richard said.

“A lot of people are talking,” she said. “We’re taking each tip and following through.

“They’re still trying to connect the dots, and there are a lot of them.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 817-575-8529 or Tarrant County Crime Stoppers at 817-469-8477.

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

Bill Miller, 817-390-7684 Twitter: @Bill_MillerST