Loved ones still looking for answers after mother killed by stray bullet

Updated: Sep. 10, 2020 at 5:58 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A family is still looking for answers into who and why someone killed an Avondale woman one year ago to the day.

Shauna Gardner, 36, was sitting inside her apartment on Prospect Place around 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 10, 2019, when a bullet shot through her window, hitting and killing her.

To this day, police don’t know if Gardener was the intended target or an innocent bystander.

The family gathered Thursday evening to release balloons in Gardner’s honor at the place where she’s buried.

Gardner is described as a loving mother of four children. Her family says she was sitting at home with them on that fatal night.

“I thought it was going to get easier, and it hasn’t,” Sholanda Ridley, Gardner’s sister, said at the balloon release. “It has been 365 days. Your time is up. Turn yourself in. Your time is up.”

Ridley says Gardner’s 5-year-old daughter continues to cope with the loss.

“I have her, and she’s struggling at night. It’s just constant,” Ridley said at the balloon release. “She’s screaming out for her mom. She’s wanting her mom, ‘I want my mom!’ Fireworks, if she hears those, that startles her... It’s to the point, I can’t even deal with the emotions sometimes."

Ridley continued: “When we came here today, she was asking, ‘Is mommy going to be here?’ It’s hard, and she doesn’t understand that. It hurts.”

Jae’auna Felton is another of Gardner’s daughters.

“She was always happy, smiling, laughing. . . she was never a negative person,” she said.

Ridley agreed: “She was a great person, a great role model, caring, loving.”

Felton visited her mom’s gravesite earlier Thursday with Karen Rumsey, Cincinnati Police Department victim’s rights advocate.

Rumsey has been by the family’s side since Gardner was killed.

“An innocent woman, in her home with her children doing what she’s supposed to do when a stray bullet comes through and kills her," said Rumsey. "And the kids are there.”

First Report | 36-year-old woman fatally shot inside Avondale apartment

Felton is trying to stay positive as police continue to investigate her mother’s death.

“After losing my mom, I feel like me and my sisters gained a bunch of new moms," Felton explained. "They’ve been very generous.”

Cincinnati police said on Thursday there are no updates as far as the investigation is concerned.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.

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