‘Stand Your Ground’ Law Under Scrutiny After Black Mother Gunned Down in Dispute with White Neighbor

by Xara Aziz
Family of Ajike Owens

A Florida woman was shot and killed Friday after she confronted a neighbor who had thrown an object at her children, Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said.

At around 9 PM, deputies responded to a “trespassing call” in the neighborhood, but upon arrival, they discovered that Ajike Owens suffered from a gunshot wound.

Deputies provided her with first aid before rushing her to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead. The shooter has not been identified at the time of this writing.

According to Woods, the 35-year-old mother of four had feuded with the neighbor for quite some time and “there was a lot of aggressiveness…whether it be banging on the doors, banging on the walls and threats being made.”

An investigation is ongoing.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump has been hired to represent Owens’ family in the shooting and stated that the shooter “HASN’T been arrested or charged with anything by law enforcement for the unjust killing,” according to a statement he posted on Facebook.

Meanwhile, the local sheriff said that the case is complex in nature due to Florida’s “stand your groundlaw.

Owens “reportedly knocked on the door of a white woman’s residence to retrieve her child’s iPad. It is believed that Owens’ children accidentally left the device behind in a field they were playing in, and the woman took it,” Crump wrote on Facebook.

On Monday, Owens’ family, their attorneys and community leaders gathered at a news conference in Ocalas to express their disappointment in the way the case has been handled following her death. They are calling on police to arrest the shooter.

“She was rendered voiceless,” Owens’ mother, Pamela Dias said. “We are here on her behalf. We are here on behalf of the four kids that are left behind, without a mother.” She further added that her 9-year-old grandson was standing next to his mother when she was gunned down.

“Anytime something this tragic happens, there are always a lot of questions,” Woods said at the news conference. “A lot of people don’t understand how the laws in the state of Florida sometimes work.”

He added that according to the “stand your ground” law, persons have the right to defend themselves if they reasonably believe they have been threatened “whether deadly force was justified or not before we make an arrest.”

This story is developing.

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