Police say woman robbed dying man instead of helping him

It's a crime that's difficult to fathom: Police say that while an elderly man sat dying from an accidental gunshot wound, a woman robbed him instead of helping him

It happened in a Safeway parking lot in Mt. Vernon, Washington, and the woman is now in the Skagit County Jail on charges of theft and trafficking stolen property.

As the 77-year-old Illinois man was bleeding to death, people who heard the gunshot rushed in to help. Mount Vernon police say 37-year-old Laura Michelle Cowan rushed in, as well.

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According to court documents, Cowan ran to the passenger side of the man’s Jeep and jumped in. Police say she grabbed the victim’s wallet – which was exposed on the center console – and also a GPS unit, all while the man was likely still alive.

When first responders got there she gave them her name as a witness but then left the scene.

Medics rushed the man to the hospital, but he died from blood loss.

Police determined he accidentally shot himself and struck a major artery in his leg.

After discovering items missing from the vehicle, detectives tracked down and re-interviewed witnesses, including Cowan.

They say she eventually admitted to the theft as well as ordering a friend get rid of the stolen wallet.

The victim has four children, nearly a dozen grandchildren, and now also a widow.