WEST JORDAN — Friends say Jill Lloyd was a kind-hearted person who had done a lot to turn her life around.
And while many acknowledge that Lloyd and Andrew Jed Larsen, 33, had problems that dated back over a decade, no one expected Larsen to brutally murder the mother of his child in the middle of a street as she sat in her car.
"That’s why I think it’s such a shock. We didn’t see it coming,” said Lloyd's close friend Amy Horsley. "Everybody is floored."
Tributes poured in over social media Thursday as word spread that Lloyd, 36, of West Jordan, was shot and killed by a man she had once dated and had a child with 11 years ago.
"I'm in complete shock and so very sad," a woman posted on Facebook. "She always had the most loving and giving heart, helping anyone that she possibly could."
"Shocked! Words fail me," wrote a man who identified himself as Lloyd's cousin.
"My heart hurts. Rest in paradise, Jill Lloyd. This is just so senseless and you will be missed," another person posted.
Just before 9 a.m. Wednesday, Lloyd was in her car stopped at the busy intersection of 7800 South and 2700 West when Larsen got out of his truck, walked over to her vehicle and fired "at least one round, if not more," West Jordan Police Sgt. Joe Monson said.
Friends say Larsen used a shotgun.
Lloyd's car then rolled to about 7750 South, where her vehicle crashed into a tree and a wall. She was found dead inside her car. A couple of hours later, Larsen was found dead in a remote area near Dugway in Tooele County with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police say.
Horsley, who has been a close friend of Lloyd and her neighbor for several years, remembered her Thursday as a bubbly, outgoing woman who was a good friend, a good mother and someone always willing to help.
"Jill Lloyd was a loving, beautiful, funny, tenacious and forthright person. She loved her son with all that she was. She loved her fiance Nic, stepdaughter Emery, two dogs, parents, sister, nieces and new nephew. She loved life," Horsley wrote on the Facebook page.
"Everybody knew Jill and just loved her,” she told the Deseret News.
Larsen and Lloyd were in a relationship more than a decade ago and had a son together, Trayce Lloyd, who is now 11. The two were never married, and Lloyd left the relationship because, according to Horsley, Larsen was abusive.
The custody battle over Trayce, however, continued for over a decade. As of Wednesday, Larsen had full custody of the boy, according to Horsley. Lloyd could only see her son every other weekend. But Horsley contends Larsen would sometimes not follow that schedule, explaining that Larsen did not allow Trayce to see his mother on Mother's Day, and then missed several weekends after that. Because of that, Lloyd was preparing to return to court.
"She was getting ready to fight for more custody, because at this time she could only see him every other weekend,” Horsley said.
Lloyd was also in a bad car crash about a decade ago, her friend said, and became addicted to painkillers.
But at the time of her death, Lloyd had turned her life around, according to Horsley. She had a good job as an office manager at RV Rentals in West Jordan. And she was drug free. Larsen even requested that Lloyd be drug tested during a recent court hearing, Horsley said, which Lloyd had no problem with.
"She passed with flying colors,” Horsley said.
The two were in court earlier this month and were scheduled to be back in court in July. Horsley filed a character affidavit with the court recently to let the judge know how well Lloyd was doing.
On Wednesday, after the shooting, a judge sealed all records in the custody dispute.
Lloyd was also engaged to a man who had an 11-year-old daughter from a prior relationship. Lloyd and Nic DeLuca were engaged on Christmas, Horsley said. She said the soon-to-be family of four was very happy. But the couple hadn't set a wedding date yet because of the custody issue.
"That custody battle was taking precedent financially over everything. They were going to work on the custody case over everything," she said.
Because of alleged prior abuse, Horsley said Lloyd was afraid of Larsen. For the past week, she said Larsen had been trying to meet up with Lloyd in person, supposedly to give her a check. But Lloyd kept telling him to give it to their son when he dropped him off. She refused to tell Larsen where she worked.
"She was afraid of him because of the former abuse and she didn’t trust him. She never wanted to be alone with him. But as far as she told me, she never said he threatened to kill (her). And that’s why I think it’s such a shock. We didn’t see it coming,” Horsley said.
At the time of the shootings, there were no protective orders in place. Larsen dropped off Trayce at Lloyd's house on Tuesday. At that time, there did not seem to be any problems. Horsley said she doesn't know of any single event that would have sparked such rage by Larsen.
"It’s devastating. It’s selfish on the father’s part. I just can’t believe he would do that. That little boy lost both parents,” she said. This didn’t have to happen."
According to court records, another woman filed for divorce from Larsen in August, and it became final in November.
A GoFundMe account was established to help pay for funeral expenses for Lloyd.
"A beloved mother, fiancée, daughter, sister and aunt Jill was tragically taken from us way too soon. She will be deeply missed," organizers of the campaign wrote on the fundraising page.
Horsley said her funeral is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday.
Help for people in abusive relationships can be found by contacting the YWCA's Women in Jeopardy program at 801-537-8600, or the confidential statewide Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-897-LINK (5465). Resources are also available online at udvc.org.