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Wednesday 24 July, 2024
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Florida mom Ajike Owens fatally shot by neighbor

BY Anas Shah Jun 06, 2023. 07:22 pm UPDATED: Jun 06, 2023. 07:22 pm

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A Florida mother of four was shot and killed Friday by a neighbor after the two had been involved in a multi-year feud over children playing outside, authorities said.

Ajike Owens was blasted through the door of the neighbor’s home and eventually died of her injuries at a local hospital Friday night, Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said in a press conference Monday.

Owens, 35, and the shooter, who has only been identified as a woman, came into contact while Owens’ kids were playing in a field in the city of Ocala. The sheriff claimed that the shooting death put an end to their more than two-year dispute.

A family member of Owens said her son was next to her when she was killed.

Since detectives and the State Attorney’s Office are looking into potential claims of self-defense, the shooter has not yet been apprehended, according to Woods.

Owens and the shooter were involved in numerous fights since January 2021, Woods said, with deputies called at least a half dozen times connected to the clash.

“I wish our shooter would have called us instead of taking actions into her own hands,” Woods said. “I wish Ms. Owens would have called us in the hopes we could have never gotten to the point at which we are here today.”

Before gunfire rang out, Owens’ children were playing outside in the field near the shooter’s apartment, authorities said. The woman yelled at the kids and then threw a pair of skates at them, striking one of the children, Woods said.

Owens later approached the woman at her apartment after her 9-year-old alerted her, leading to the argument and then the shooting, investigators said.

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While the shooter has been questioned by investigators, Owens’ children have not been interviewed yet by the sheriff’s office. The bereaved siblings will likely engage with child specialists.

Well-known civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, who is representing the Owens’ family, accused the shooter of directing racial slurs at the children before Owens came to her door in a statement. All of Owens’ children are black.

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The sheriff’s office has not confirmed that racial slurs were used or that they were a contributing factor.

Owens’ mother, Pamela Dias said at a vigil for her daughter she wanted justice done for her family.

“My daughter, my grandchildren’s mother, was shot and killed with her 9-year-old son standing next to her,” Dias said. “She had no weapon. She posed no imminent threat to anyone.”

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