A former model and actress suffering from a rare blood disorder was involved in the fatal shooting of a police officer in Draper, Utah.
According to KSL.com, Traci Lee Vaillancourt, 34, is recovering at Intermountain Medical Center after her boyfriend, Timothy Troy Walker, 35, shot and killed Draper police officer Sgt. Derek Thompson, before shooting her in the back and turning the gun on himself.
Vaillancourt’s sister, Victoria King, says it’s the latest incident in a sad, downhill slide for the former beauty. According to King, Vaillancourt was once an aspiring model and actress who became afflicted with a rare blood disorder called Hereditary Angioedema, which causes the face, throat and limbs to swell.
Vaillancourt started taking prescription drugs to deal with the pain of the disorder, which eventually resulted in full-blown addiction. By the time she was thirty, she had already suffered four strokes.
'It just went downhill from there,' King said, according to KSL.com.
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When Vaillancourt started dating Walker, King tried to warn her sister. “I tried to get him away from her,” she said. “She chose a different path. … He was bad news from the get-go, I knew it, and the two of them combined, and a loaded gun nonetheless, and strung out on drugs.'
'We tried and tried and tried to help her but you can't help someone who won't help themself,' King said.
King said she last saw her sister and Walker the day before the shooting, when they showed up at her house asking for money. 'He got out of the car and he was hyper, showing me a gun that has a laser and a machete and knives,' she said.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, King gave the couple $4.50 from her purse and saw the couple drive off in a silver car she had never seen before.
Both Walker and Vaillancourt have a history of legal problems. The Sale Lake Tribune reports that Walker has been arrested multiple times for drug possession, while Vaillancourt has prior arrests for theft and shoplifting.
According to cops, Sgt. Johnson was shot multiple times and killed while he was sitting inside his police vehicle after pulling up to Walker and Vaillancourt’s car. Walker is believed to be the perpetrator of the violence.
Vaillancourt, in moments of self-reflection, would sometimes dismay at the state of her life. 'She would cry, ‘I never pictured my life turning out like this,’' King said.
'I know she was a victim, but I felt like I already lost her a long time ago,” King said. “My heart is absolutely bleeding for Derek Johnson’s family,' King added in the interview. “
“I just want them to know I’m sorry.”