CLAYTON, Mo. – A Ferguson man was sentenced Thursday for his role in a rolling gun battle on Interstate 170 that claimed the life of an innocent woman caught in the crossfire.

The shooting happened around 3 p.m. on Nov. 30, 2020, in the southbound lanes of I-170 near the Olive Boulevard exit.

Kristen Whitted was on her way to meet up with friends for a walk in Forest Park when she found herself in the middle of a road rage incident she had nothing to do with. Police responded to the shooting on the interstate and found that Whitted had suffered a gunshot wound to her upper torso. Whitted was rushed to a local hospital, but could not be saved. She was 46.

Days later, detectives with the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis arrested Calvin Pittman for firing the shots that struck Whitted. Pittman had claimed that he was returning fire at another vehicle that shot at him first, and that he didn’t intend to shoot Whitted.

The trial began on Jan. 18, 2023. On Jan. 23, St. Louis County jurors found Pittman guilty of involuntary manslaughter, unlawful use of a weapon, and two counts of armed criminal action.

Pittman was sentenced to 15 years for manslaughter, 10 years for unlawful use, and three years for each count of armed criminal action. He will serve the sentences consecutively.

Whitted’s father and brother spoke at the sentencing hearing, as did Pittman’s spouse.

“We accept natural death. This is different,” Whitted’s father said. “I can’t see any reason why she shouldn’t be here. I can’t see any reason why she shouldn’t be breathing.”

Her brother, who initially left the hearing in tears, returned to the courtroom and said that while he prays for Pittman’s family, the man who killed his sister needed to be punished.

“You are responsible for every round that leaves that chamber,” he said.