Californian woman fatally stabbed while colleague watched on Zoom, police report

Carol Brown was sitting in her Los Angeles-area home on Monday and talking to a colleague on Zoom when suddenly, the call turned into a crime scene.

First, Ms Brown and her colleague watched as her brother was violently dragged outside by another man. Then, the attacker returned and a struggle ensued with Ms Brown.

He later stabbed her to death.

“The Zoom caller witnessed the attack on both the male and female and called 911 to report the crime,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

Police later identified the suspect as Robert Cotton, 32, who was arrested on Monday and charged with two counts of murder.

In a Facebook post, Pasadena City College President and Superintendent Erika Endrijonas identified the female victim as Ms Brown, who most recently served as a co-coordinator of the school’s Black STEM programme. The Pasadena Star News identified Ms Brown’s brother, who also died in the attack, as Kenneth Preston, 69; Ms Brown was 67, the Star reported.

Police have not yet confirmed the victim’s identities or a motive for the attack.

Monday’s killings are the latest horrific crime to take place during a Zoom call amid a pandemic that has left millions of Americans every day working remotely.

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