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Woman Slain on Her Morning Jog : Violence: Flight attendant is shot in the face less than a block from her Fountain Valley home when she refuses to get into the gunman’s car.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

There was nothing Jane Carver loved more than her morning jog.

When she was not working, the 46-year-old United Airlines flight attendant would run her normal four-mile trek around Mile Square Park, smiling and nodding at neighbors and fellow runners.

On a crisp, bright blue-sky Saturday morning, as she was returning from a run to her house on McCabe River Circle, Carver was shot and killed in what police said was an apparent random shooting. Seconds later, as neighbors and witnesses looked on helplessly, Albert Carver, who sprinted from his house to the scene, cried over his wife’s lifeless body.

“I’m just devastated . . . falling apart right now,” Albert Carver said tearfully Saturday afternoon from his house where family and friends gathered to console each other. “Imagine what it’s like to see your wife lie dying in a flower bed. . . . I just don’t understand anything anymore.”

Detectives had no immediate leads on the killer who, they said, pulled the trigger when Jane Carver reportedly refused to get into his car.

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The shooting occurred shortly after 8 a.m. Carver had just rounded a corner on Warner Avenue, at Mt. Marcus Street, a quarter-block from her house and directly across the street from Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center, when she was approached by the motorist. Police said she was shot in the face. She was pronounced dead at Fountain Valley Regional, according to Police Lt. Bob Mosley.

It was the city’s first homicide of the year, Mosley said. “I don’t know how anyone could stop something like this, protect themselves against something as random and senseless as this,” he said. “We have a very safe community and this just doesn’t happen in our city.”

At Mile Square Park, joggers stopped in mid-stride when word of the fatal shooting reached them.

“I hate to think that it’s not safe to come to this park to work out,” said Rich Anderson, 36, a Fountain Valley resident who jogs in the park three mornings a week. “But I guess it’s just too much to expect for people to leave you alone. . . . This is a runner’s worst nightmare.”

On Saturday, neighbors appeared shellshocked as they stood around the sidewalks of this quiet neighborhood of mostly two-story houses on cul-de-sacs. One woman said she was in her house when she heard a scream, then a gunshot. However, she did not see anything more, she said.

Several witnesses said that right after the shooting, the gunman drove through the neighborhood to escape instead of driving on Warner Avenue, the closest major road.

“I can’t make sense of this,” said a woman who lives next door to Carver and said her jogging neighbor was “just running as she does every morning.”

Jane Carver was a Los Angeles-based United Airlines flight attendant. She had been with the airline 26 years, according to United spokesman Tony Molinaro.

Her family and friends declined to be interviewed Saturday. But her neighbors had only kind words for the woman whom they said was an avid jogger who ran every morning when she was not away on flight duty. Sometimes her husband accompanied her. Other times she ran with a pet collie. She and Albert Carver kept mostly to themselves but were always smiling and saying hello, neighbors recalled.

By late afternoon, police were still combing the area for additional evidence. They describe the gunman as a black man between 30 and 40, 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-8, weighing 145 to 150 pounds. He was wearing a medium brown or tweed sports coat and dark pants and driving an early 1980s, off-white Ford model two-door, hatchback compact car. Police were also looking for the weapon, which they believe was a 9-millimeter handgun.

Times staff writer Ray F. Herndon contributed to this report.


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