just before noon Monday claimed a beloved downtown businesswoman, authorities said Tuesday.
Shannon Kathleen Collins, 38, of Santa Cruz died at the scene. She was fatally stabbed by a San Francisco transient, who was arrested nearby as he tried to hide evidence, police said.
Collins and her husband, Ken Vinson, owned , the downtown sex shop that sells adult novelties, lingerie and more.
“Collins was a well-respected downtown business owner and community member,” Deputy Police Chief Rick Martinez told the Register-Pajaronian newspaper. “We are asking that the community come together to support the family in this tragic event.”
Mayor Don Lane put out a message to the community Tuesday.
“We all are mourning the tragic loss of Shannon Kathleen Collins, a beloved Santa Cruz community member and Downtown business owner," said Lane. "Though no words can alleviate the pain, anger and shock Mrs. Collins’ family must feel at this time, I offer my deepest condolences to them. I hope thoughts and prayers from people throughout Santa Cruz will provide them some comfort during this extraordinarily difficult time."
Friends told the Santa Cruz Sentinel that Collins was walking to a hairdresser appointment when she was attacked. Charles Anthony Edwards III, 43, the assailant, didn't know Collins, police said.
Edwards has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is being held in Santa Cruz County Jail. He will make his first court appearance Wednesday. A copy of the charges filed against Edwards is posted to the left; it details his criminal history, dating back to a 1992 assault conviction in San Francisco.
Collins and Vinson bought Camouflage in 2006. She told the Good Times newspaper in 2010, just after the shop won a Best of Santa Cruz award, "we want to push the envelope, but we don’t want to give you a papercut doing it.”
The Pacific Avenue store hosts First Friday art exhibits and employees offer advice to customers with questions. Both Collins and Vinson were Certified Sex Educators with more than 60 hours of training each.
“We decided to get into this business because we really needed a change in our daily lives,” said Collins. “Having lived in Santa Cruz for many years, we were well acquainted with Camouflage, and felt it was the perfect opportunity to challenge ourselves, and give me the opportunity to indulge in my passion for sexual education and acceptance.”
On the Camouflage Facebook page, customers and friends left heartfelt messages wishing love and healing to those touched by Collins' tragic death.
Services for Collins have yet to be announced.