ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A 20-year-old man arrested Friday at an apartment complex west of Orlando is accused of fatally shooting two women — his child’s mother and grandmother — before running from the scene with a 2-year-old girl in his arms, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
Radrick Francois was found in his own unit at Lake Sherwood Apartments by deputies responding to the shooting, reported there at 11:28 a.m. The two women who were shot — identified as Tanga Owens, 20, and 39-year-old Tanishia Starr, Owens’ mother — were taken to a hospital where they were both pronounced dead.
Owens and Starr were in a sedan that was seen on surveillance footage arriving at the complex at 11:20 a.m., deputies said. Witnesses at the complex told investigators that they saw a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt talking to the women from outside of the car before hearing gunfire and seeing the individual run through the complex with a young child in his arms, according to an arrest affidavit.
[TRENDING: Become a News 6 Insider]
Deputies said the footage corroborated the witness statements, showing Francois approach the rear passenger side of the car and interact with its occupants before shooting into it at 11:27 a.m., taking his and Owens’ 2-year-old daughter and leaving Owens’ 8-month-old son behind in a baby seat.
As Francois ran, unmarked sheriff’s office apprehension units immediately responded and blocked off all exits because they were already at the apartment complex for a different investigation, the affidavit states. Law enforcement soon got in contact with Francois’ mother, who informed them of a custody battle between Owens and Francois, her son’s stated intent to kill Owens and the location of his first-floor apartment at the complex.
Investigators could see Francois from outside and eventually got him out of the apartment as he told his mother over the phone that he had nothing to do with the incident. He was taken to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office where he reportedly confessed to shooting at Owens, yet claimed it was in self-defense and that he accidentally shot Starr in the process.
The 2-year-old was recovered from the apartment unharmed and the 8-month-old in the car was also not injured, deputies said.
The gun used to shoot the two women was unrecoverable at the time of this report as Francois said that a person known to him picked up the weapon and took it away, the affidavit states.
Francois faces two counts of first-degree murder with a firearm and he’s being held on no bond amount.
ARRESTED: Radrick Francois, 20, for the 4/14 shooting deaths of mother & daughter Tanishia Starr, 39 & Tanga Owens, 20, in a car on London Crest Dr.— Orange County Sheriff's Office (@OrangeCoSheriff) April 15, 2023
Francois was in a custody battle with Owens & previously threatened to kill her. Two small children in the car were unharmed. pic.twitter.com/QYKEhqHapR
This is a developing story. Check back here for updates.
Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily: