OAKLAND -- The family of Jennifer Angel, owner of Oakland's popular Angel Cakes bakery, announced Thursday she had been declared dead after suffering life-threatening injuries during a brazen daylight purse snatching in the parking lot of a Wells Fargo Bank branch.
"It is with a heavy heart that we announce that Oakland baker, small business owner, social justice activist and community member Jen Angel has been medically declared to have lost all brain function and will not regain consciousness. Her official time of death was 5:48pm (PT)," the statement began.
Investigators said the purse-snatching incident took place about 12:29 p.m. Monday in the 2000 block of Webster St. less than a mile away from her shop.
Angel was in the parking lot when a vehicle blocked her exit. A man approached her vehicle, broke a window, reached inside to snatch her purse and then raced back to a getaway car.
She followed the suspect back to the car, attempting to retrieve her purse. Angel became caught in the fleeing vehicle's door and was dragged more than 50 feet before falling off.
Angel suffered serious head injuries as a result of being dragged. She was rushed to the Highland Hospital Trauma Unit.
Friends and family said her brain was bleeding and swelling to the point doctors had to perform emergency surgery. She is currently on life support and in grave condition. According to her medical team, Jen is unlikely to recover.
Loyal customers like Shanise Miller and her co-workers are shocked and deeply saddened to hear what happened to Angel.
"Today my coworkers and I were talking and one of my coworkers started crying," Miller said. "She said it was the Angel Cupcake lady. That's what we call her. She was saying how devastated she was. I ended up seeing the news today and it just broke my heart."
On Thursday, her employees issued a statement:
"The employees of Angel Cakes of committed to continuing the vision of Jen's work building community and bringing joy to people's lives through this challenging time. Out of respect for the family, staff are not speaking to the press at this time."
Miller said staff workers inside are doing their best to stay strong.
"They're trying to hold up and continue her legacy," she said. "I know this is what she would want. You can tell that's the energy like, you have to keep pushing and to make it through the day."
The incident remains under investigation.
Police and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering up to $7,500 in reward money for information leading to the arrests of the suspects. Anyone with information may call police at 510-238-3326 or 510-238-7950 or Crime Stoppers at 510-777-8572.
KPIX reporter Mary Lee contributed to this story
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