Dallas Woman Slain After Choir Practice

Woman fatally stabbed outside her condo

By Ellen Goldberg
|  Friday, Sep 23, 2011  |  Updated 12:47 AM CDT
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Dallas police are investigating the stabbing death of a 50-year-old woman.

Ellen Goldberg, NBCDFW.com

Dallas police are investigating the stabbing death of a 50-year-old woman.

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Woman Stabbed in Front of Her Home

Dallas Police search for the person who stabbed 50-year-old Shearl Bennett in front of her home in the 9800 block of Royal Lane in Dallas.
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Dallas police are investigating the stabbing death of a 50-year-old woman who was killed just steps from her front door Wednesday.

Police were called to a condo in the 9800 block of Royal Lane just before 10:30 p.m. Wednesday after a witness saw Shearl Bennett on the ground. Bennett was attacked as she was returning home from choir practice at Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church, where she spent the evening practicing for a Sunday performance.

"It hurts. It hurts immensely," said the Rev. Dr. Curtis Wallace, the church's senior pastor. "We have all just been crying together. We are going to miss her; we just love her so much."

Bennett was a dedicated member of the church for more than 20 years.

Wallace said she left the church at about 10 p.m. Wednesday, just half an hour before her body was found.

Neighbors said they believe Bennett tried to crawl to a common area for help before she died.

"I could not think of anyone who would ever want to hurt Shearl," Wallace said. "She never said a harsh word about anyone."

Police sources said Bennett's purse was missing, which points to robbery as a motive.

Neighbors called her death senseless.

"I think we are just all in shock right now," said neighbor Heather Buzzell. "Shearl was very vigilant about her own safety, so this is just a reminder we live in a big city."

Neighbors said the slaying has left them in fear.

"We're supporting each other," Buzzell said. "We don't want anybody to not feel safe in their own homes."

Dallas police have not released a description of killer, but a witness saw a dark-colored, small car speeding out of the area that night.

NBC 5's Ashanti Blaize contributed to this report.

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