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Mother of 3 shot & killed execution-style: 'That is the act of a coward'

Latoya Woolen, a 39-year-old mother of three, was shot execution-style in a parking lot near UNLV on 3/19/17. (Photo provided)

A local mother of three has been identified as the victim in an execution-style shooting at a parking lot near UNLV on Sunday.

Latoya Woolen, 39, was killed by a shotgun wound to the back of the head and neck, according to the Clark County Coroner.

It happened Sunday night in a parking lot behind a dollar store near Flamingo and Maryland Parkway. Police say she was sitting on a short wall with grocery bags from the nearby dollar store when she was shot from behind. Detectives believe she never saw it coming.

"The hardest thing now is to have to raise these kids without their mother ... that's devastating," said Ishe Smith, the victim's former husband.

RELATED LINK | Investigation continues into murder of young woman in parking lot near UNLV campus

Smith met Woolen when they were just 18 years old. Their 10-year relationship gave the couple two sons and a daughter. The two eventually grew apart as Smith focused on his professional boxing career.

However, after all these years, when he lost Woolen, he lost family.

"One of the most painful things I've experienced ... and I've experienced defeats and losses all my life ... but this hurts me so bad," said Smith.

Police believe Woolen was not the victim of a robbery since her jewelry and wallet were left untouched.

"That is the act of a coward ... to shoot someone like that in cold blood ... that is the act of a coward," said Smith.

RELATED LINK | Woman found shot in the back of the head in business parking lot near UNLV

Detectives are still working the case, but so far, there is no suspect and there is no motive.

"I think the person who did it definitely knew her ... maybe they got in an argument," said Smith, who is still left wondering who killed the mother of his children and why?

Smith struggles to imagine a life for the entire family without Woolen.

"Graduations and weddings and all the things that a parent is supposed to be proud of ... she had that taken from her ... so we'll pray someone will come forward," said Smith.

Detectives are still reviewing surveillance video in the area to piece together the investigation. If you have any information that can help, call Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.

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