Teresa Priestley's friends say she was a role model for women everywhere: A single mom who put her kids first, often working multiple jobs to give them bright futures.
Those same friends, bristling with rage and grief, lashed out Monday at the news that Priestley, 43, of Bensalem, had been stabbed to death, apparently by her former boyfriend.
"I just wish someone would've been there to help her today," said one, Joe Lozito. "And I hope he gets his punishment. I hope he dies slowly, and feels as much pain as he inflicted on her children and her family."
The "he" Lozito was talking about was William Table, 45, Priestly's ex-boyfriend.
Table was arrested Monday night in Philadelphia on charges of homicide and kidnapping in connection with Priestley's death, according to Fred Harran, Bensalem director of public safety.
Investigators say Priestley had recently broken up with Table, kicking him out of, and changing the locks to, her apartment in the Bucks County township.
Priestley called 911 in a panic about 7 a.m. Monday, saying Table was going to kill her, Harran said. Less than a minute after that frantic call came in, dispatchers received another: A car had crashed in the 3100 block of Hulmeville Road.
Investigators later determined that Table went to Priestley's apartment and got into an argument with her. During the dispute, she tried to drive away, but Table broke into the car, Harran said. He allegedly stabbed her multiple times, then fled after the crash. Priestley was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.
Priestley's neighbors at the Village Square Apartments were deeply disturbed by the news of her death.
A police cruiser sat near Priestley's apartment long after the scene had been cleared by investigators.
"It's an uneasy feeling," said Mike Angely, 33, who lives a few doors down from Priestley's unit. "I don't know what to think."
Angely said he was getting ready for work about 7 a.m. when he heard a woman scream, "Help me!" followed by the screeching of tires.
He looked out his bedroom window to see the taillights of a car as it sped away.
The police later evacuated Angely and his neighbors from their apartments, suspecting that Table had returned to Priestley's unit.
"I called my fiance in Alabama in a panic and asked him, 'Should we move?' " said Alyssa Barlow, who lives next door to Priestley's unit.
Barlow described Priestly as friendly and quiet, a neighbor who'd always wave when she saw her. She said she saw Priestley's son visit from time to time, as well as Table.
Other residents at Village Square said Priestley was a relative newcomer to the complex, having moved in a little less than a year ago.
Lozito and his wife, Andrea, knew Priestley for years, befriending her through their sons, who played together for the Bustleton Bengals Little League baseball team in Northeast Philadelphia.
Priestley's son, D'Andre, is newly graduated from Bensalem High School. His sister, Kayla, is pursuing a graduate degree from New York University, the Lozitos said.
Andrea Lozito, fighting back tears, recalled the two families spending time together. She said she had spoken to Priestley on Sunday as she helped her plan a vacation.
"We said how long it's been since we saw each other," said Lozito, who now lives on Long Island. "And we promised to see each other before summer was over.
Her husband, Joe, said he left work when Andrea, inconsolable, called him after seeing news reports about Priestley's slaying.
When he saw a picture of Table that police had distributed to the media, he said, he recognized him right away: He had met him briefly a few years ago, during a visit to Priestley's apartment.