Florida Mother of 4 Fatally Shot in Front of Children, Neighbor Arrested

A heart-wrenching incident unfolded in Marion County, Florida, when a mother of four, identified as Ajike “AJ” Owens, was shot and killed following a longstanding feud with a neighbor. The shooting occurred in the presence of Owens’ children, leading to shock and grief in the community.

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Trespassing Call and Fatal Confrontation

Deputies responded to a trespassing call on Friday night and discovered Ajike Owens with a gunshot wound. According to Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods, the shooter, also a woman, had engaged with Owens’ children and threw a pair of skates, hitting them. The incident escalated after a dispute over a child’s electronic tablet, leading Owens to confront the neighbor.

Tragic Outcome and Cooperation with Authorities

During the confrontation, both parties displayed aggressiveness, with threats being made. The neighbor ultimately shot and fatally wounded Owens through the door, according to Sheriff Woods. Witnesses reported that Owens had knocked on the neighbor’s door before the tragic incident occurred. Despite efforts to save her, Owens was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Unresolved Arrest and Calls for Justice

Law enforcement has not disclosed the identity of the shooter or made an arrest at this time. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, representing the family, confirmed that the shooter is a 58-year-old White woman. In a separate news conference, Pamela Dias, Owens’ mother, revealed that the shooter had directed racial slurs towards the family, including the children.

Dias passionately called for justice, emphasizing that her daughter posed no threat and was unjustly killed in front of her 9-year-old son. The delay in making an arrest has sparked outrage, with Crump describing it as “appalling” and “unjustifiable.”

 Investigation and Plea for Calm

Authorities are actively investigating the shooting, collecting possible video evidence and interviewing the traumatized children who witnessed the incident. Sheriff Woods urged the public to remain calm and patient as they navigate the complexities of the case. He also appealed for anyone with information to come forward to assist in the investigation.

Stand Your Ground Law and Criticisms

Responding to criticism regarding the investigation’s duration, Sheriff Woods referenced Florida’s “stand your ground” law. The law allows individuals to use force if they perceive a serious threat to themselves or others. The sheriff emphasized that the law imposes specific instructions for law enforcement, requiring them to determine whether the use of deadly force was justified before making an arrest.

Community Support and Promise of Justice

As the community mourns the loss of Ajike Owens, a verified GoFundMe page has been established to support her family. By Monday night, the page had raised over $30,000. Sheriff Woods assured Owens’ family and friends that his office is committed to seeking justice for the tragic incident.

In these difficult times, thoughts and prayers are extended to the affected children, who are now grappling with the profound impact of this senseless act of violence.

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