New Port Richey slaying: Gunman kills woman lying in bed with her two young hildren in 'targeted' hit

Cops are now hunting for the 5'10" man, who was heavily built and was last seen wearing all dark clothes

New Port Richey slaying: Gunman kills woman lying in bed with her two young hildren in 'targeted' hit
(Representative image - Hannah Beier/Getty Images)
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TAMPA, FLORIDA: A gunman wearing a skull mask shot a Florida woman to death in front of her two young children on Tuesday, October 31 during a home invasion that a sheriff described as a "targeted" hit.

Addressing the incident, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said during a press conference that the suspect knocked on a door at a home in New Port Richey, which is north of Tampa, sometime after 12.30 am. The loud knocks on the door awakened a woman, who was sleeping on the couch in the front room. As she got up to open the door, the masked man forced his way into the house and pointed a firearm at her.

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Without turning on any lights, the masked man then made his way to the bedroom where the female victim was sleeping with her two children under 12. There, he flipped on the light and pointed a gun at the woman who sat up in the bed. “The light comes on, (the victim) sees the suspect walk into the door,” Nocco said. “She sits up. As she sits up she says, ‘Don’t shoot me.’ The suspect then fires one round at her. She falls off the bed. He fires another round directly at her, striking her.”

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The victim was immediately transported to the nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead. The authorities have not released the identity of the victim. Nocco said neither the children nor the woman sleeping on the sofa was injured in the shooting. However, the police did not clarify the relationship between the victim and the second woman.


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“For these young kids, I can imagine they were out last night trick-or-treating and I can imagine they went to bed a little later, like all the kids did last night,” Nocco said. “But to be woken up, to have a suspect walk in, turn that light on and shoot the person who was in the bed with them, that’s horrific. That’s the only word I can think of.” He also added that mental health counselors are working with the young children and the second woman.

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The masked killer fled and investigators are searching for him. He was described as a 5-foot-10 man with a heavy build who was last seen wearing all dark clothes, reported Fox 13.

Investigators do not believe it was a random shooting. "It appears the suspect knew the layout of this house, he directly targeted the individual," Nocco said at the press conference. "It seems like he knew exactly who he was going for, and he fled the scene."

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Authorities are urging anyone with information to submit tips to the Pasco County Sheriff Crime Tips Line at 1-800-706-2488 or report tips online at PascoSheriff.com/tips.

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