CLEVELAND — The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office has identified the woman who was shot and killed in front of her teenage son on Saturday evening. Cleveland police said the woman, 48-year-old Rosemary Hill, was pronounced dead at the scene after two suspects fired into her SUV, which was parked in the driveway. Hill's 13-year-old son was not injured, police said.
Police responded to the shooting in the 3500 block of East 76th Street in the Union-Miles Neighborhood at around 6:40 p.m. on Saturday. Authorities believe the two suspects, which have not been identified, fled the scene in a vehicle immediately after the shooting.
Hill's neighbor and close friend, Angela Kirven, said she was in her home next door when she reported hearing several shots being fired. A short time later, Kirven said Hill's 13-year-old son ran into her home.
"It took my heart and my breath away. I told him not to come back out of the house," Kirven said. "He's going to be traumatized. He was screaming so. What can you do when that happens to your mother right in front of you?"
After the shooting stopped, Kirven said she walked next door and found Hill slumped over the steering wheel. The image is now forever burned into her memory.
"I looked to see if she was alright. Then, I wish I hadn't," Kirven said. "She did a heroic act before she left here. She said [to her son], 'Don't move. Sit down, curl down where the seat goes down.' She protected him all the way to the end."
Kirven said she's beyond baffled as to who would want Hill dead and also be brazen enough to kill her in broad daylight.
Hill moved in next door about eight years ago, Kirven said, and the two quickly bonded over their grandchildren. The two 5-year-olds became inseparable, and Hill quickly became beloved in the neighborhood for her homemade gift baskets around the holidays.
The two would also spend summer evenings on Hill's front porch, talking and laughing. Kirven said she's going to miss those moments the most.
"She just loved people. She loved deeply," Kirven said. "I know that because she was my friend. She was the best neighbor. You couldn't get a better neighbor than Rosie Hill."