Woman shot and killed at high school in Avondale

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Thomas Moton, 38, is suspected in the shooting of Takesha Barnes. By Andrew Michalscheck Thomas Moton, 38, is suspected in the shooting of Takesha Barnes. By Andrew Michalscheck
Police in Avondale say a woman has been shot in the abdomen. The shooting occurred in the parking lot of Westview High School. By Mike Gertzman Police in Avondale say a woman has been shot in the abdomen. The shooting occurred in the parking lot of Westview High School. By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Police in Avondale say a woman has died after being shot in the abdomen and the suspect remains at large.

The shooting occurred in the parking lot of Westview High School while an eighth grade graduation ceremony was talking place.

Police say the woman, identified as Takesha Barnes, 33, was at the school to see her daughter graduate.

Police believe the suspect is Thomas Lamont Moton, 38, Barnes' ex-boyfriend, who has a history of domestic violence with her.

They say Moton shot Barnes in the parking lot of the campus.

Barnes left the ceremony early because she heard Moton was coming there to look for her, Avondale Police Detective Reuben Gonzales said.

"She had information he was on his way over here, or was waiting for her, and unfortunately he was waiting for her and he shot her as she approached the vehicle and got into the vehicle," Gonzales said.

Moton fled east on a Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle wearing a red and black motorcycle jacket. He is described as black, six feet tall and 190 pounds.

The U.S. Marshals Service and Phoenix police are helping in the search for the Moton.

He is believed to be armed and dangerous.

Parents and students at the graduation were told to stay in the auditorium after the shooting. They report a brief commotion as the student who is related to the victim was notified and rushed outside to the scene.

"It's awful, it's sad that the kids have to deal with something like this, especially on a special day, so it's pretty scary," said Melissa McGrady who was attending the graduation.

The school is located at 107th Avenue and Indian school Road.

Anyone with information is asked to call police or Silent Witness at 480-witness.