An arrest has been made in the shooting death of Summer Hickman, age 34, of Mexico, who was a mother of four children.
The Audrain County Sheriff’s Department arrested her husband, Ricky Harding, Jr. on May 25 for murder in the second degree, domestic assault in the first degree, armed criminal action, a felon in possession of a firearm, and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Harding’s arrest was the result of an investigation conducted by the Audrain County Sheriff’s office, who was assisted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Missouri Department of Conservation, and the Mexico Public Safety Department following a 911 call of a shooting in the 15000 block of Audrain Road 923 in the early morning hours of May 25.
According to a Probable Cause Statement, an eyewitness told investigators that both Harding, Jr. and Hickman were arguing inside the residence, which led to the two struggling with a firearm.
During the struggle a round was reportedly fired and struck Hickman in her pelvic region.
Harding, Jr. then drug her body into the garage before fleeing the residents, leaving four minor children alone in the residence without calling emergency services for help.
The children are between the ages of 4-12 years old. The two had one child in common, resided together, and were married.
Hickman was transported to the Audrain County Medical Center Emergency Room by ambulance. She was pronounced dead soon after her arrival.
An autopsy was conducted on May 26.
During a search of the residence, a Colt Model 1911 .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun was located on the floor in the room the disturbance and shooting had occurred.
The magazine had six rounds of ammunition with one discharged shell casing found in the chamber.
The handgun reportedly belonged to Harding, Jr.
Harding, Jr. has multiple felony convictions in Missouri, which include burglary and stealing in 1998, three convictions for a controlled substance in 2002, and two misdemeanor convictions for domestic assault in 2006.
The felony convictions prohibited him from possessing firearms and ammunition.