BALTIMORE – A woman trying to help what she thought was a needy mother and her baby has been fatally stabbed in Baltimore.
The good Samaritan was identified by police as 52-year-old Jacquelyn Smith, who was riding in a car with relatives Saturday when they saw a woman carrying what appeared to be a baby.
The woman was holding a sign that read, "Please Help me feed my Baby."
Suspect said thank you before stabbing victim
Smith, of Aberdeen, Maryland, handed money out the car window to the woman when a man approached the vehicle.
Baltimore Police said in a statement he first thanked the family for the money, but then tried to grab Smith's wallet.
"A struggle ensued," police said, and the man stabbed Smith in the torso before running away with the woman who had the sign.
Smith died shortly after arriving at the hospital, police told CNN.
Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh expressed sorrow over the killing and urged residents to be cautious.
"While crime is trending down in our City, one life lost is one life too many. This is a terrible tragedy for the Smith family and our hearts go out to them," she said. "We are deploying all available resources within our Police Department to find and bring to justice those responsible for this senseless act against Mrs. Jacquelyn Smith who merely thought she was helping a person in need.
"Particularly in this season when we are inclined to give to those we perceive to need a helping hand, we urge all to exercise extra judgment and caution."
'It makes it very difficult to help'
Baltimore City District 12 Councilman Robert Stokes has spent his whole life in East Baltimore, where the homicide occurred.
"It makes you wonder now if you want to roll your window down and help. It makes it hard and makes it more dangerous for people who really want to help people. It's a sad day and my condolences go out to the family," he said.
"With the holidays coming up, people want to help in some kind of way and it makes it very difficult to help."
Police are searching for both the suspect, described as a man in his 30s with a goatee and the woman with the sign who was asking for money. It's not clear if they have a baby with them.
"We just gotta do something about the panhandling on the corner because if it's getting to this point, it's dangerous," Stokes said. "Someone's life was taken away from them when they were trying to help."