JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The two women in their 30s who were shot early Tuesday morning inside a Hyde Park condominium along the Cedar River were sisters, their uncle told News4Jax.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, one of the women has died and the second is in the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Officers were called to the Cedar Creek Condominiums on San Juan Avenue about 2 a.m., where the two women were found with gunshot wounds.
The victims' uncle, Doug Freeman, identified the victims as Ashlee Rucker, who died, and Lisa Rucker, who was in intensive care. He said each had a young son in the home at the time of the shootings, but they were not hurt.
"Very outgoing person," Freeman said of Ashlee Rucker. "A bubbly personality. (She) worked in the medical field, and just very outgoing, friendly."
Detectives are working to determine what led up to the shooting, but Freeman believes it is the outgrowth of domestic violence that had been going on for years.
Family friend Shellie Heisner said she didn’t know Ashlee as well as Lisa, but says she knew Ashlee had recently been in an abusive relationship.
"I know Lisa moved into the apartment by herself with her son probably about six months ago, and then Ashlee moved in, and unfortunately let him know where they were staying."
Police reported that they do have a good idea on who the shooter is, but would not release any information about that person for most of the day. Late Tuesday, they named Chad Absher a suspect. The family had previously told News4Jax that Absher was Ashlee's ex-boyfriend.
A large contingent of police believed to be looking for Absher concentrated on an area of 118th Street, near Ringhaver Park, Tuesday afternoon, but left without finding him.
Shellie Heisner said prayers are needed for Lisa in the hospital, that the shooter is caught, and for Ashlee and Lisa’s two sons.
"I hope to God that those two boys are OK emotionally," Heisner said. "Physically, I know they’re OK, but emotionally? That it breaks my heart."
Family and friends have put of a GoFundMe page to help with medical and funeral costs.