Police say teacher was killed by former mother-in-law
WEST VALLEY CITY — Through the cell phone, the popping sounded like a light bulb exploding.
Then the phone on the other end seemed to hit plastic.
The engine was still running.
But there was no response.
The likely scenario, Rod Hernandez thought, was that his fiancee had just been in a crash, hit broadside because she was talking on the phone to him.
The horrific truth was yet to be revealed to him, that Tetyana Nikitina, whom he was going to marry Feb. 14, had been gunned down in her car as she was leaving the school where she worked.
For minutes, Rod Hernandez waited on the phone, not daring to hang up. He left the pork chops he had been cooking and began the drive to the Salt Lake CAP Head Start.
Through the phone, he began to hear sirens, then men talking — paramedics.
He was still on the phone when he arrived to find the area around Nikitina's car cordoned off by police tape.
"I found out she got shot," Rod Hernandez said.
Later, at the hospital, he learned Nikitina, 34, had died.
Unified Police officers arrested Nikitina's ex-mother-in-law, Mary Nance Hanson, 70, on investigation of murder.
Hanson is a concealed weapons permit holder, and her most recent address is in Taylorsville. Investigators found her car parked about a mile away from the crime scene, said Unified Police Lt. Don Hutson.
Police say Hanson fired several shots at Nikitina, then reloaded and fired several more rounds.
...Then there was the phone call — that last one — at 3:27 p.m...