|Birth: ||Feb. 13, 1962|
|Death: ||Oct. 20, 1997|
NURSE SHOT TO DEATH ON 60 FREEWAY
A Los Angeles police jail nurse was shot to death as she drove home on the Pomona Freeway early Monday, Riverside County sheriff's investigators said.
Rosie Jane ALMEYDA, 35, was found dead in her car, which had come to rest against the center divider on the eastbound side of the freeway, just east of Interstate 15 in an unincorporated area of western Riverside County.
The bullet was fired through the passenger side window of her car, striking ALMEYDA in the head, sheriff's officials said.
The shooting was believed to have happened around 2:45 a.m., about 15 minutes before a passerby reported the incident as a single-vehicle collision.
ALMEYDA, a mother of two from Hemet, was a supervising correctional care nurse at the Los Angeles Police Department's Van Nuys jail.
(Published in The Los Angeles Times (CA), October 21, 1997.)
Rosie Jane ALMEYDA, 35, spent her work nights surrounded by accused killers and rapists, ministering to their wounds and treating their ailments.
She spent much of her days on the freeway, traversing a grueling 180-mile, five-hour round-trip course between her home in Hemet and the Van Nuys jail, where she was the nursing supervisor on the swing shift.
Her husband, Peter, said Tuesday he worried more about her hours working inside a jail than her long, dark commute.
But it was the drive that killed her.
About 2:45 a.m. Monday, passing motorists spotted ALMEYDA's car in the center median of the eastbound Pomona Freeway, just past the I-15 interchange. The car had a blown-out tire and ALMEYDA was inside, fatally shot in the head.
Riverside County Sheriff's Investigator Bill Roach said ALMEYDA was apparently killed by a motorist who had been driving beside her car and shot through her passenger window. But investigators remain baffled by the slaying and unsure of the chain of events.
"Anything's possible," Roach said.
Friends and family on Tuesday were stunned by ALMEYDA's slaying. They described her as a big-hearted, energetic woman who seemed almost unstoppable. Not even her daunting commute deterred her from what she saw as her duty to help people.
"It was a decision that she made when she was younger, to help people when they were sick," said Peter ALMEYDA, who met his wife when they were students at Banning High School in Wilmington.
Rosie ALMEYDA worked as a registered nurse at nursing homes, but soon shifted to correctional nursing--work she vastly preferred to hospitals, friends and family said. Because she had seen so much medical suffering, she strongly disliked being in hospitals and only went to a doctor if seriously ill, her husband said.
"At first I wasn't comfortable with her working in a jail setting like that," he said. "But she always told me that you should just treat people the way that you would want to be treated."
In 1991, the ALMEYDAs moved from Wilmington to Hemet, where they bought a house. Rosie Almeyda had started working as a nurse for the Los Angeles jails, where she provided ambulatory treatment for inmates. She briefly tried working for the closer Riverside Sheriff's Department but returned to the Los Angeles jails, her husband said.
She volunteered to transfer to the Van Nuys jail even though the move tacked even more minutes onto her epic commute, her husband said. She was supervising correctional care nurse on the swing shift--4:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.--though ALMEYDA would frequently work later than that, her colleagues said.
After coming home from work she would fall into bed for a quick three or four hours of sleep, then promptly awaken to drive her two children, 13 and 10, to school, her husband said. If she was lucky, she might be able to take a nap during the day. Usually, she brought paperwork home with her to do before heading off for Los Angeles in the early afternoon.
"It was tough for her," Peter ALMEYDA said. "But she was very caring, very dedicated. She could take a lot."
A week ago Monday, as Rosie ALMEYDA left on her way to work, another car smacked into her Honda Civic. She was so badly hurt that she overcame her dislike of doctors and went for an examination the next day, her husband said.
She suffered mainly bruises, but doctors ordered her not to do strenuous work. She stayed home until Sunday, then rented a Geo Prizm and returned to the jail. She assured her husband that there would be enough people on duty that she could just do paperwork.
This time she didn't come home.
ALMEYDA was supposed to leave earlier Sunday night, at 11 p.m., but stayed at least an hour later, nurses said. Roach, the Riverside sheriff's investigator, said that after she was shot, ALMEYDA continued for about a quarter of a mile before her car drifted into the center divider.
Investigators say they do not know if the tire flattened after ALMEYDA was shot or was shot out by her attacker. Roach said they will investigate any possible connections to Almeyda's job as well as any possible problems she had in her middle-class Hemet neighborhood. But so far, he said, detectives cannot say who may have killed ALMEYDA or why.
He added that the shooting was probably not due to a traffic dispute, since there are few drivers on the freeway at that hour.
(Published in The Los Angeles Times (CA), October 22, 1997.)
Felix Eugene Taylor (1911 - 1977)
Tillie F Taylor (1921 - 1970)
Eddie Gene Taylor (1957 - 2005)*
Rosie Jane Taylor Almeyda (1962 - 1997)
Created by: Donna Barnes
Record added: Nov 02, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 79775654