Rachel King murder: Mother gunned down in front of son over boyfriend's 'ended affair,' DA says

An innocent woman was killed in "cold blood," and a boy was left without his mother in a tragic shooting that officials say was carried out by a man and woman who plotted together for months. 

Rachel King, 35, was shot to death outside the Dunkin' in the Melrose Shopping Center in Cheltenham on a Tuesday morning earlier this month.

Zakkee Steven Alhakim, 33, of Philadelphia, and Julie Jean, 34, of Elkins Parks, are now charged with murder in King's death after she was killed while driving her 11-year-old son to his violin lesson.

RELATED COVERAGE: 'Targeted murder of a mother': Woman fatally shot in front of son in drive-thru lane of Cheltenham Dunkin'

The mother, who was also a teacher at Grover Cleveland Elementary School, was later pronounced dead. Her son, who was in the backseat, was not injured.

Officials believe the deadly shooting was "a targeted murder of a mother… all because of an ended affair."

Plans to orchestrate the deadly shooting were devised over two months ago, according to officials, who say the mother's movements were watched days before.

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Julie Jean (L) and Zakkee Alhakim (R)  (Montgomery County District Attorney's Office)

In a press conference Wednesday, the DA's office revealed that King's boyfriend was involved in an affair with Jean last year.

He obtained a Protection from Abuse Order against Jean after she allegedly continued to harass both King and her boyfriend after he broke off the affair.

Both suspects, who reportedly did not know King, are said to have conspired for months ahead of the murder, meeting multiple times and communicating through text messages. Alhakim is said to be the cousin of the father of Jean's children.

Officials say several of their 787 deleted messages were recovered, including a $5 CashApp payment from Jean to Alkakim on April 11 with an emoji message interpreted to mean, "link up, message me, no phone, that's it."

The car used in the deadly shooting was purchased in Jean's name less than two weeks prior, according to the DA's office.

RELATED COVERAGE: 'She loved life': Woman gunned down in Dunkin' drive-thru remembered as loving single mother

On the morning of the shooting, authorities say King was followed from her home by both suspects to the Dunkin' drive-thru, where she was ultimately gunned down in front of her son.

Six spent shell casings were found outside the vehicle where the shooter was found to be standing.

Alhakim fled when spotted by Philadelphia police that same day, but was taken into custody after crashing the vehicle into a fence on 16th Street.

His vehicle was also sought in connection to a murder in Philadelphia on April 7. Ballistic evidence later connected both shootings with shell casings found at the scenes. 

Officials say this investigation is the first local case to successfully utilize technology of the "National Integrated Ballistics Database," which was unveiled by suburban law enforcement earlier this month. 

"What this machine does is it's able to compare fingerprint or unique markings on these FCC's or the fired casings," said Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele. 

Officials say the weapon used in both shootings was not recovered, but a photo of the ghost gun was found on one of the suspect's phone, along with photos of King.

Both Jean and Alhakim were arrested by police and charged with murder and related offenses. Bail has been denied for Jean as Alhakim awaits arraignment.

King's parents said their beloved daughter's memory "will never be lost" as they called for swift and fair justice when they spoke during a presser Wednesday.

"As a family of believers in Christ Jesus, we believe that vengeance does belong with God… Our hearts are hurting, but we believe in time they will be healed, and we will move forward with our grandson," King's mother Carol said.