Vicky Bowman-Hall, Sheila Myers

Iowa Gas Station Murder Victims Remembered by Family

Families of Vicky Bowman-Hall, Sheila Myers torn

Updated: Friday, 19 Nov 2010, 8:04 AM CST
Published : Tuesday, 16 Nov 2010, 8:57 PM CST

by Leah Beno / FOX 9 News

ALGONA, Iowa – The northern Iowa convenience stores where 47-year-old Vicky Bowman-Hall and 61-year-old Sheila Myers worked are at the center of small towns with farmland around them for miles.

It seems everyone knew these ladies, and with crimes stretching two counties, there are a lot of people they left behind.

“To everybody that knew her she was like a mom to everybody,” John Bowman, the son of Vicky Bowman-Hall, said.

Background: Minn. Teen Kills 2 Iowa Gas Station Clerks

With 11 children and seven grandchildren, tacking care of family was everything to Bowman-Hall.

“She worked as hard as she could to make sure the family was taken care of and well fed,” Bowman said. “Made sure everyone had everyone they needed.”

A few of Bowman-Hall’s kids say she worked at the Crossroads gas station and convenience store in Algona for roughly six years, and never missed a day of work.

“She’s worked at several different gas station jobs, but that’s because she loved people,” Bowman said.”

“Last night she was training someone and she sent them home early,” her daughter, Jillian Bowman said. “The girl she was training, she was crying and said your mom saved my life by sending me home early.”

Minutes later, investigators say a man wearing a ski mask walked into the store and demanded Bowman-Hall put cash and cigarettes into a duffle bag. She did, and he shot her. It took 40 minutes for someone to find her, and she was fighting the entire time.

25 miles south, a similar scene. 61-year-old Sheila Myers was shot and killed while working behind the counter at the Kum and Go in Humboldt, Iowa. One of her daughters told FOX 9 she’s been a clerk at the store for 13 years.

“She was the best,” Mandy Myers said. “Just like any mom, you know she would do almost anything for anybody. She knew almost everybody that came in the store. It’s been a really rough day.”

After a report about a suspicious car at a McDonald’s even further south, police arrested 17-year-old Michael Swanson from St. Louis Park, Minn. Tuesday afternoon, Swanson was laughing, but had no comment, as he walked toward his first court appearance.

Bowman-Hall’s husband says they learned of Swanson’s arrest just as his wife passed away at the hospital.

“It just doesn’t feel real,” Jillian Bowman said. “I’m hoping it’s a nightmare and I’m just going to wake up from it. But I don’t think I am.”