Several reports have confirmed that a Black mother of four children, all under the age of 12, was shot and killed by white woman over a verbal dispute. The alleged shooter has yet to be identified, charged or arrested.
Ajike “AJ” Owens, 35, was approached by the unidentified white woman, who began hurling racial slurs at Owens and her children as they played in a field near their home in Ocala, Florida. According to reports, the children realized that they left an iPad near the field, which the white woman stole from the field. When the children went back to retrieve the iPad, the woman threw the iPad, breaking the screen. When Owens went to the home of the woman to talk to her to get her children’s iPad back, she was shot and killed through her neighbor’s door.
Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods refused to give the same account of what happened between the neighbors, saying that the shooting appeared to be the culmination of a feud between the neighbors. He also stated that sheriff’s deputies had to be called to the address six to eight times in less than three years.
“Somebody threw something at my child, I’d be pissed off,” he said. “What parent wouldn’t be? Who wouldn’t be upset at that, regardless of whether they intentionally threw it at them or not? I wish our shooter would have called us instead of taking actions into our own hands. I wish Mrs Owens had called us in the hopes we could have never got to the point in which we are here today.”
Sheriff Woods did not identify the shooter’s name, age or race, but added she was being “cooperative”.
Woods said the investigation, when complete, would be presented to the Marion County State Attorney’s office, which would decide if charges will be filed.