Keith and Jacquelyn Smith were celebrating his daughter's birthday at a VFW hall in West Baltimore Friday night.
It was on the way to drop her off on the east side when Jacquelyn saw a woman in distress and wanted to help.
Today, Valeria Smith was still dressed in the clothes she was wearing in the back seat of that car Friday night when she explained she hadn’t left her father’s side in Aberdeen since it happened.
“I just want to make sure my father is okay. He has never been through this, now he is a widower. He hasn't eaten, he doesn’t sleep. I am just worried about him. I am just trying to be strong for him,” Smith said.
But Jacquelyn’s stepdaughter, like so many, is paralyzed but the question “why?”
She says Friday night her stepmother saw a woman in need and waved her over to the car; she was about to slip the woman with a baby a 10-dollar bill.
Her husband Keith was at the wheel and lowered the window, “My wife just felt moved to give her something. So at the stop sign, she waved her over to come on over to the car and out of nowhere some guy came over while walking with her. I hit my window and Jacquelyn went to hand the money out and the guy leaned over and said can I thank your wife? I said you can thank my wife and, within that split second, this guy commits to stabbing my wife...”
Smith says the man then snapped the necklace off her neck while the woman grabbed his wife's purse and ran off.
Smith gave chase for a second before he says he heard Jacquelyn's screams.
His wife, a mother of two sons, one in school and the other in the coast guard; she, herself an electrical engineer with the Department of Defense was mortally wounded.
Smith raced his wife to Johns Hopkins Hospital, but she didn't make it.
“Blood was everywhere. It was something that, it was horrific for something like that to happen. But right now, I am just absorbing all of it.”
Absorbing how his wife, who just wanted to do good — was the victim of something so wickedly bad.
His family now left to contemplate murder, evil, faith.
“It makes me think of this whole world differently now,” Valeria said, “It makes me look at everything and everyone...nothing is ever what it seems and you just have to protect your family out here.”
Miraculously — Keith Smith is already thinking of what comes next.
He tells WMAR-2 News he wants the city to pass a law banning panhandling and soliciting at every intersection in Baltimore.
Smith says he is going to make that clear to the mayor and that it should be named Jacquelyn's law; he won't give up until it happens.