‘We’ll never be the same’: Family, friends of mother & daughter found shot to death call for justice

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The heartbroken relatives of a mother and daughter who were fatally shot outside an Orlando Apartment complex say the loss has left a gaping hole in their family.


Orange County deputies say 39-year-old Tanishia Starr and 20-year-old Tanga Owens died after being shot in a car shortly before noon Friday at the Lake Sherwood Apartments near Apopka Vineland Rd.

The suspect, 20-year-old Radrick Deshay Francois, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder with a firearm.

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The victims’ family told deputies the incident likely involved a custody battle.

Deputies say the shooting location was actually the drop-off site for the child Owens shared with Francois. Now, there’s a memorial there for the two women.

Those who knew them say Tanishia and Tanga were each other’s best friends and biggest supporters- a mother/daughter duo who did everything together.

“Tanishia and Tanga were joined at the hips,” cousin Fredericka Starr said. “When you would see Tanga, her mom would be right there.”

The two are described by family and friends as loving and big-spirited. Tanga- a mother of two who was pursuing a teaching degree at Valencia College, and Tanishia- a doting and devoted mother of five.

“Put both of them in a room full of people and they’re gonna make sure you have a laugh,” family friend Ariyah Scott said.

Both lives were cut short Friday morning.

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According to his arrest affidavit, security footage shows Francois shooting both women before running back to his apartment with the two-year-old child he shared with Owens in his arms.

Deputies arrived to find Owens’ eight-month-old child still in the car unharmed with the two badly-injured women.

Investigators brought out dogs and collected evidence for hours, and after noticing Francois on the balcony of his apartment, they eventually took him into custody.

The two-year-old child was found unharmed inside the home.

Deputies say Francois told them he shot Owens in self-defense, claiming he accidentally shot Owen’s mother in the process.

“I just wake up in the morning and I wonder why,” Family friend Aria Scott said.

The grieving friends and relatives say they want justice, but above all else, their thoughts are with the young children each woman left behind.

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“I get to wake up. I can see my child. I can raise my child, and she can’t do that,” Scott said.

Both Owen’s and Starr’s children are now safe with relatives. Meanwhile, Francois remains in the Orange County jail with no bond.

“We’ll never be the same,” Starr said. “...we’ll never be the same.”

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