MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A gruesome murder has residents of one Memphis, Tennessee community shocked and heartbroken, according to WREG.
Police responded to the call Sunday night and found a woman who had been severely beaten and run over – allegedly by the father of her children. That man, 34-year-old Santrez Traylor, has been arrested numerous times for domestic abuse, according to court records.
Neighbor Jay Smoot said he couldn’t believe what happened, especially in their quiet Orange Mound neighborhood.
“We saw a car driving back and forth across the lawn, and we didn’t know what was happening from where we could see. But it turned out we were witnessing the murder occurring,” he said.
Police responded to an armed party call at a house in the 3200 block Carnes around 9:30 Sunday night.
Witnesses said they heard a woman scream and discovered it was their neighbor, Amanda Petrowski. The father of her children was said to be repeatedly hitting her in the head with a brick or rock.
“I didn’t realize the severity of what was happening just right across the street,” Smoot said.
Witnesses said Traylor then got into a car and ran Petrowski over several times near her porch.
One neighbor told WREG she was on the phone with police for eight minutes while she waited for them to arrive.
Traylor was about to leave when officers showed up.
“He tried to flee the cops. He drove across the yard and into the street and the cops took off after him. That was the last of what we saw of the incident,” Smoot said. “We feel bad for the kids and for her mother. I heard when they told her mother what happened. It was just gut-wrenching.”
Petrowski was pronounced dead on the scene.
“I was shocked. I got real emotional,” Deborah Robinson told WREG. Robinson said she is a domestic violence survivor and vowed to keep sharing her story for Domestic Violence Awareness Month in honor of victims like Petrowski.
“Don’t look down on us,” Robinson said. “It’s hard, especially us as women, and it does happen to men, but we’ve got to have the support of everybody.”
Police reports show Traylor has been arrested multiple times over the past three years for stalking or abusing Petrowski.
Just last month, he was arrested for trespassing, threatening to “beat her brains in” and threatening to put one of their two children “through the wall.”
Affidavits say he once called around 200 times and has threatened to kill her before.
Traylor now faces second-degree murder charges and two counts of aggravated assault.
If you or anyone you know might be in an abusive relationship, visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline for more information and direct ways to contact someone who can help.