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Another gun tragedy in the United States: a mother murdered in front of her son in Florida

The woman was fatally shot through the door of a neighbor’s house. According to police, it was the end of a dispute that had been going on for years.

A Florida mother received a fatal shot through the front door of her neighbor’s house while her 9-year-old son stood by her. It was the violent culmination of what police said was a dispute that had been going on for two and a half years.

Ajike Owens, 35, was shot and attacked after showing up at the Ocala apartment of her neighbor, who earlier had yelled at Owens’ children as they played nearby and thrown a pair of skates that struck one of them, the officer said. Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods at a press conference Monday.

The tragedy seems to be another consequence of the proliferation of firearms in the United States, where until now most initiatives to control their sale and carrying have failed, even after killings in schools and other public places.

In Florida, especially, the Republican governments have been promoters of the carrying of weapons.

Officers responding to a trespassing call from the apartment Friday night found Owens with gunshot wounds. The mother of four was taken to a nearby hospital, where she died. Ocala is about 110 kilometers northwest of Orlando.

Sheriff Billy Woods reported on this new gun tragedy in Florida. Photo: AP

“I wish the shooter had called us instead of taking the law into her own hands,” Woods said. “I wish Mrs. Owens had called us in the hope that we would never have gotten to the point we are at today.”

Since January 2021, Woods said, his subordinates have responded at least half a dozen times in connection with the dispute between Owens and the woman who shot him. The sheriff’s office has not apprehended or identified the shooter.

Woods said detectives are working with the State’s Attorney’s Office and must investigate possible self-defense arguments before they can move forward with any potential criminal charges.

no arrests

The sheriff noted that, due to a Florida law, you cannot legally make an arrest unless you can prove the shooter did not act in self-defense.

Before the shooting, Owens’ children were playing in a field near the shooter’s apartment. Later, when Owens confronted the woman at her apartment, an argument ensued and the woman shot Owens through the front door, according to police.

A line in front of a gun store in Culver City, California, in a file image.  Photo: AP

A line in front of a gun store in Culver City, California, in a file image. Photo: AP

Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who represents the Owens family, said in a statement that the shooter had yelled Racist insults the children before the confrontation with their mother. Owens and his children are black.

The sheriff’s office has not confirmed any slurs were used or said whether race was a factor in the shooting.

Woods also said they haven’t interviewed Owens’ children, who witnessed the shooting, because investigators want child therapists to work with them first. Most of the information the sheriff’s deputies have comes from the shooter, Woods said.

racism and aggressiveness

“There was a lot of aggression from both of us both ways,” Wood said the shooter had told investigators. “Whether it was banging on the doors, banging on the walls or making threats. And that’s when Mrs. Owens was shot through the door,” she added.

Woods was joined at his news conference by community leaders and a local attorney hired by the family, Anthony Thomas. The only message from him was a request for patience while the sheriff’s office conducted its investigation of him.

During a vigil with the family later Monday, Thomas said the sheriff had promised Woods he would be patient.

Source: The Associated Press

Translation: Elisa Carnelli

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