A woman was taken into custody Tuesday night in connection with the death of Ajke “AJ” Owens, 35, who was shot dead after knocking on a neighbor’s door last week in central Florida, a sheriff’s office said. announced by the person in charge.
Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods told reporters on Monday that the department was investigating the case and officials were working to determine “whether the use of lethal force was warranted.” rice field.
Fifth Judicial Circuit Assistant Chief State Attorney Walter Forgey told CNN early Tuesday that the department is working with the Sheriff’s Department on the investigation and “will promptly decide to prosecute as soon as all evidence is collected and analyzed.” said it would be dropped.
Owens’ relatives said they want her killers arrested and prosecuted.
A police statement identified the shooter only as a 58-year-old white woman who harassed black mothers and children and called out racial slurs before being killed Friday in Marion County, an Ocala suburb. It says.
Here’s what we know:
At a press conference on Monday, sheriffs briefly described how Friday’s shootings unfolded, but officials were primarily listening to the side of the shooter, who was a key witness to the shooting. He stressed that the interviews with them are still ongoing.
Woods said the shooter is cooperating with authorities.
Sheriffs who responded to a trespassing call shortly after 9 p.m. Friday night found Owens lying in the grass after being shot, according to an incident report from the sheriff’s office. She was later pronounced dead at a hospital, officials said.
Woods said the culprit had previously been “involved” with the Owens children, throwing skates at them and hitting them.
A witness told police there was an altercation over the child’s electronic tablet before the shooter threw the skates, according to the incident report.
The child then returned home and told his mother, Owens, about the incident, who went to the house next door to “confront,” Woods said.
The sheriff said the shooter told police there had been “substantial aggression” on both sides before shooting Owens through the door.
Witnesses told authorities that Ms Owens went to the man’s house and knocked on the door before he was shot, according to the incident report.
The victim’s mother, Pamela Diaz, said the neighbor’s door “never opened” when Owens tried to confront her.
“My daughter, the mother of a grandson, was shot dead along with her 9-year-old son who was standing next to her. She had no weapon and did not pose an immediate threat to anyone,” he said. Diaz said Monday at a separate press conference held by the family’s lawyers.
Florida’s “hold your ground” law allows people to respond with force if they believe they or someone else is in danger of being seriously harmed by the perpetrator.
Under the law, a person may use lethal force anywhere, unless he is engaged in an illegal act, and is attacked where he has the right to be, resulting in the loss of his life and death. Only if you reasonably believe your safety is in jeopardy. CNN has previously reported what was perceived as blatant behavior or threats by others.
“This law contains specific instructions for us in law enforcement,” the sheriff said. “The law clearly states that we cannot make an arrest whenever we think, know or believe that it may affect us.”
“What we have to rule out is whether the use of lethal force was justified before arrests were made,” he said. I wish I had,” he added.
The sheriff didn’t say why he was referring to the law, but his reference to the law provoked backlash from Owens’ family and lawyers, who argued there was no way to justify his murder.
On its GoFundMe verified page, Owens’ family said the “Stand Up” law “encourages individuals to use unnecessary violence in the name of self-defense” to promote change. said it is partnering with national advocacy groups.
“[The shooter]could have called 911. She could have done 100 things other than lethal force,” said one of the family’s civil rights attorneys. Lawyer Ben Crump told MSNBC on Monday. “That is unacceptable.”
The family said Owens was a single mother of four, full of energy, loved her children “with all her might” and helped others in any way she could.
She was described on her family’s GoFundMe as a devoted mother and Christian whose smile lights up a room and who would do anything for her family, friends and loved ones.
“It’s safe to say she loved her children unconditionally. She was a single mother and revolved around them in her life. She was a team mom on her children’s football/cheerleading team.” I did,” it says on the page.
“She would often donate to other single mothers in similar circumstances,” he added.
The paper also said Owens had “professional excellence as a manager” in the restaurant and hospitality industry.
“Honestly, I don’t even know how she did it. She’s a great testament to all mothers around the world,” Diaz told MSNBC.
A GoFundMe for the Owens family has raised more than $85,000 as of Tuesday night.