Prosecutors: Norfolk teacher’s shooting death was result of mistaken identity

Caroline Hendrix (Photo courtesy: Norfolk Public Schools)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Prosecutors say the shooting death of a popular Norfolk teacher on New Year’s Eve was the result of mistaken identity, and a love triangle involving her friend and the two people charged in the case.

Caroline Hendrix was shot on Virginian Drive, and later died at the hospital. She was a teacher at Oceanair Elementary School.

Two people have since been charged in connection to Hendrix’s death — Edward Shaw and Teniqu Cushman.

Left to Right: Edward Shaw and Teniqu Cushman were charged in connection to a fatal shooting of a popular Norfolk teacher on New Year’s Eve in 2018. (Photos: Norfolk Police Department and Norfolk City Jail).

 

 

Shaw, 70, is facing charges that include second-degree murder, while Cushman, 22, is charged with conspiracy to commit second-degree murder.

Prosecutor Brent Johnson says the two defendants met in the summer of 2016 at the Oceanfront and started a relationship, saying Cushman called it “friends with benefits”. Johnson says the state’s evidence includes more than $15,000 worth of checks Shaw wrote to Cushman, and several text messages that ended the day Hendrix was shot.

The prosecution says a friend of Hendrix was also involved with Cushman, after connecting with her on the “Plenty of Fish” website. The prosecutor says the love triangle led to Shaw wanting to eliminate his rival at Cushman’s urging. Hendrix and her friend were house-sitting on Virginian Drive on New Year’s Eve.

Johnson says Shaw knew his target would be there because Cushman had told him. But when he shot someone in the driver’s seat of the friend’s vehicle parked in the driveway — it was Hendrix, not her friend, who took the two bullets that killed her.

The prosecutor says Shaw’s last text message to Cushman was the night of the shooting, indicating he thought he killed the person he intended — saying “I shot him, and I’m shot, too.”

Police say a friend of Hendrix’s came to her aid in the driveway and shot Shaw. Shaw tried to tell them he was shot in a road rage incident, but that story didn’t add up.

Cushman’s employer testified that she was on a job that night and was nowhere near the crime scene. He also called her a stellar employee.

Cushman’s attorney says there’s no evidence that shows she told Shaw to kill Hendrix’s friend.

Judge Joan Mahoney denied bond for Cushman. Shaw’s attorney withdrew a request last week for bond. Both have preliminary hearing scheduled for April 11.