A nasty divorce ended in the worst way for a beloved woman who worked at a pet clinic in Mays Landing, N.J. on Thursday.
Her husband showed up at the clinic in the morning, shot her and then shot himself. Both died.
"She had blood all over her hands. There was blood all over the door. It was horrible. I'm still shook up," said Joanne Bucca who works at the CVS right across the street from the All Paws Veterinary Clinic. A woman had run into Bucca's store asking workers to dial 9-1-1.
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The victim, Patrice Clemente, 50, had told co-workers she knew her life was in danger. They told her to call police. She chose not to, according to the Atlantic County Prosecutor.
"We developed evidence of marital discord and a threat of violence against her from her soon-to-be estranged husband Ron Clemente, including a threat to kill," said Prosecutor Ted Housel.
"I know she was going through a bad divorce. And I just talked to her at 9:30, I had an appointment at quarter to 12," said Nancy Beall a friend who runs the Atlantic County SPCA. "She was a wonderful person. She always helped the SPCA. She was always there for me," Beall said.
Patrice was the clinic's receptionist. Pet owners arriving for appointments were distraught when they heard what had happened.
"I became pretty close with everyone in there. They're really great people. I've been going there for about two years now so it's a shock," said Larry D'Alessandro.
Co-workers and the clinic's owner, Dr. Dawn Ritter, were too upset to talk about the murder-suicide.