The director of a Bronx homeless shelter was shot to death as she ran naked from a former resident of the facility who had tried to rape the woman in her car, police said Tuesday.
Ana Charle, 36, of Flushing, Queens, was pronounced dead at Montefiore Medical Center after she was shot in the head and torso late Monday afternoon in the Bronx by West Spruill, 39, a law enforcement official said.
Charle was walking to her car at the end of her work day at Project Renewal, a homeless shelter at 4380 Bronx Blvd., when Spruill accosted her at gunpoint shortly before 6 p.m., police said. He forced Charle into the backseat of her car, ordered her to remove her clothes and tried to rape her, said the official, who did not want to be named.
Charle was able to escape and fled from her car naked with Spruill, also naked, in pursuit, police said. Spruill shot Charle three times and she was found on the sidewalk at 4366 Bullard Ave., police said, about a block away from the shelter.
Spruill walked back to Charle's car, got dressed and fled, but was captured by NYPD officers who had responded to numerous 911 calls, the official said. Officers found a handgun in one of Spruill's bags and arrested him, according to police.
He had lived at the Bronx shelter from June 2014 until January while Charle was the director, but was living at another shelter in upper Manhattan at the time of the shooting, police said.
Spruill had six prior arrests in New York for robbery, weapons possession and assault, among other charges, police said. Disposition information on the arrests was not available late Tuesday.
Officials said Spruill had also served a prison sentence in Michigan on weapons charges.
Spruill faced charges of second-degree murder and criminal weapons possession as of late Tuesday, officials said, and investigators were awaiting autopsy results to see whether Charle was raped.
"He is a really, really bad guy," the official said.