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Family calls for arrest after Florida mother of 4 was killed in front of her children

todayJune 6, 2023

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(OCALA, Fla.) — The family of Ajike Owens, 35, and their attorney Anthony D. Thomas held a news conference on Monday demanding an arrest be made for the shooting death of Owens, a Florida mother of four. The Owens family is also being represented by civil rights attorney Ben Crump.

Owens was shot and killed last Friday in Ocala, Florida on the doorstep of the suspect’s home, after she went to the suspect’s residence to question the unidentified woman about an alleged dispute with Owens’ children, according to police reports.

“She knocked on [name redacted because not confirmed]’s door, a closed, locked door,” Pamela Dias, Owens’ mother, said at the news conference. “Door never opened. My daughter, grandchildren’s mother was shot and killed with her nine-year-old son standing next to her.”

Marion County sheriff Billy Woods held a press conference earlier the same day. Woods said no arrests have been made yet because his department has to follow due process under Florida Stand Your Ground laws.

“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.”

Woods said there was an ongoing feud between Owens and the suspect, and there was a heated confrontation between the two before the shooting. The Marion County sheriff’s office is conducting an investigation with the help of the state attorney to determine if an arrest will be made.

The day of the shooting, the children were playing in a field on the property in which the suspect’s home is located. The suspect allegedly yelled at the children to get off the field, according to Dias.

One of the children left a tablet on the property and went back to the suspect’s home to retrieve it because the suspect allegedly took it into her possession, according to a police report.

The unidentified woman allegedly threw a pair of skates at the child and the minor notified Owens, resulting in Owens going to the suspect’s home, according to Woods. Woods said more than one of Owens’ children may have witnessed the shooting. The children have not been interviewed yet out of respect for the trauma of losing their mother, according to Woods.

“According to the one side, there was a lot of aggressiveness from both of them,” Woods said. “Whether it be banging on the doors, banging on the walls and threats being made. And then at that moment is then when Ms. Owens was shot through the door.”

According to police records, when officers arrived on the scene, they found Owens under a nearby tree with a gunshot wound in an undisclosed location on her body. She had a faint pulse as the officers applied medical aid. Owens was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced deceased at 9:33 P.M on June 2.

The police transported the suspect to their central operations bureau for an interview, according to police reports. Details of the interview were not disclosed. The suspect did not immediately return ABC News’ request for an interview or statement.

Woods said Florida Stand Your Ground laws make it harder to execute an immediate arrest.

“We have to rule out whether deadly force was justified or not before we can make an arrest,” Woods said. “And sometimes it makes it difficult and sometimes it becomes an obstacle, but only a temporary obstacle because it will be moved and the final answer will come forward.”

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Written by: ABC News

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