A Nigerian woman of four, Ajike Owens was shot dead by a white neighbour while she was trying to recover an iPad taken from her child in front of their home, in a housing complex, in Ocala, Florida, the United States.
The 35-year-old woman popularly called ‘AJ’ was killed in the presence of her 9-year-old son, according to a Twitter post made by a civil rights lawyer, Ben Crump, on Monday.
Crump alleged that the Nigerian woman was shot by her 58-year-old woman neighbour who had complained several times about Owens’ children playing outdoors, according to the Guardian UK.
The US attorney also disclosed that the police have yet to make any arrest because of the state’s ‘stand your ground’ rule, describing the murder as “unjust killing.”
In his own reaction, the Marion County sheriff, Billy Woods disclosed at a Monday afternoon press conference that the shooting seemed to be the culmination of a feud between the neighbours.
Woods added that deputies had been called to the address “six to eight” times in two and a half years.
He said he could not confirm that Owens was attempting to retrieve an iPad when she was killed, but said the shooter had thrown a pair of skates towards Owens’s children before the fatal confrontation.
Woods said, “Somebody threw something at my child, I’d be pissed off, 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.”
The Guardian UK said Woods did not identify the shooter’s name, age or race, but added she was being “cooperative.”
He urged patience from the community while the investigation continued, stating that not all the children who witnessed the incident had been interviewed yet.
“We’re not cold-hearted bastards, we’re not going to interview children the night they possibly witnessed their mother being killed. We’re going to wait. We have to rely on professionals and expert counsellors to sit down with them, [but] I’m here to assure the family and the friends that my office is going to do everything to bring justice,” Woods added.
The report further revealed that the incident happened as several children were playing on the grass in front of a duplex building at the development, according to neighbours who spoke to the Ocala Star-Banner.
They said a female resident emerged from one of the units, threw something towards the children, scooped up an iPad and retreated inside.
One of the children told Owens what happened, the neighbour said, and she went to the woman’s door.
“She confronted her and, according to the one side, there was a lot of aggressiveness from both of them, back and forth, whether it be banging on the doors, banging on the walls and threats being made,” Woods said.
“And then, at that moment, it’s when Owens was shot through the door.”
Army Put On Standby As UK Police Hand In Weapons
The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence is offering soldiers to support armed police in London after dozens of police officers stood down from firearms duties, BBC reports.
More than 100 officers have turned in permits allowing them to carry weapons, a source told the BBC, in support of a fellow officer who has been charged with murder over the fatal shooting of a young Black man, Chris Kaba.
The officer, named only as NX121, who appeared in court last week, has been charged over the death of Chris Kaba in September 2022.
Kaba died hours after he was struck by a single gunshot fired into the vehicle he was driving in the Streatham area of South London.
It later emerged that the Audi Mr Kaba was driving, which did not belong to him, had been linked by police to a gun incident the day before.
His death prompted a number of protests and renewed allegations of racism within the force.
The Ministry of Defence said it received a request, known as Military Aid to the Civil Authorities, from the Home Office to “provide routine counter-terrorism contingency support to the Metropolitan Police, should it be needed”.
A MACA is offered to the police or the NHS in emergency situations. The military helped medical staff in the Covid pandemic and covered for striking border staff and paramedics last year.
The Met said it was a “contingency option” that would only be used “in specific circumstances and where an appropriate policing response was not available”.
Military staff would not be used “in a routine policing capacity”, it added.
On Saturday, the Met said its own officers still make up the vast majority of armed police in the capital but they were being supported by a limited number of firearms officers from neighbouring forces.
Announcing the review, Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the public “depend on our brave firearms officers to protect us”.
“In the interest of public safety they have to make split-second decisions under extraordinary pressures.”
She said that officers have her “full backing”.
“I will do everything in my power to support them,” she added.
In his letter to the home secretary, the Met Police commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, said that a system where officers are investigated for “safely pursuing suspects” should not have been allowed to develop.
Sir Mark said he would “make no comment” on any ongoing legal matters, but “the issues raised in this letter go back further”.
He said firearms officers are concerned that they will face years of legal proceedings, “even if they stick to the tactics and training they have been given”.
“Officers need sufficient legal protection to enable them to do their job and keep the public safe, and the confidence that it will be applied consistently and without fear or favour,” he wrote.
But in instances where officers act improperly, Sir Mark said the system “needs to move swiftly” rather than “tying itself in knots pursuing good officers through multiple legal processes”.
Man Charged With Beating His Three Children To Death
Police in Thailand have charged a man with beating to death his two-year-old daughter and his two infant sons, BBC reports.
The police suspect Songsak Songsaeng also killed two other infant sons from a previous marriage.
The charges follow the discovery last week of the body of a two-year-old girl buried beneath a kitchen floor.
Police say Songsak claims to have a history of mental illness, and that he killed his children because he couldn’t tolerate the sound of their crying.
His wife has also been charged over the death of their two-year-old daughter. And his ex-wife has been charged over the deaths of the two boys. All three have been arrested. Songsak has been married four times.
Police were first alerted to a possible case of domestic violence at the Bang Khen district in Bangkok earlier this month.
Songsak’s neighbours reported that his two daughters, aged 12 and four, were being physically abused. Police rescued the two daughters while they were home without their parents.
The 12-year-old told police that their parents had beaten her two-year-old sister, which led to her death. She also helped police trace the body to where it was buried under a kitchen floor in north-west Thailand last week.
Thai police have also charged Songsak with the killing of two other sons he had with his third wife after his DNA matched with that of two infants, whose bodies were unearthed 10 years ago.
His third wife had said he killed their four infant sons and gave police locations where two were buried.
Police believe the two others may have been buried under an area where a petrol station now stands.
JUST IN: Russia Adds ICC President, Hofmanski, To Wanted List
The Russian Government, on Monday, said it had placed the President of the International Criminal Court, which is seeking the arrest of President Vladimir Putin, on its wanted list.
“Hofmanski Piotr Jozef, Polish. Wanted under an article of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation,” Russian news agencies reported, citing the Interior Ministry.
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