JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Loved ones of a woman shot and killed six months ago gathered Friday night to keep her memory alive.
Jacksonville police said Ashlee Rucker and her sister, Lisa, were both shot by Rucker’s ex-boyfriend, Chad Absher, early Halloween morning at a Westside condominium.
For many of her family and friends, Ashlee Rucker’s tragic death feels it just happened yesterday. People held hands in a courtyard filled with her pictures remembering her life.
Lisa Rucker, who continues to recover from the double shooting that took her sister's life, said the past six months have been surreal without Ashlee by her side.
"Some days I think, 'Oh yeah, she’s alive. She’s down the road. I just haven’t seen her.' And then there are some days where it really hits me," she said.
Ashlee’s loved ones are staying strong for her 9-year-old son.
They’re also hoping her death will bring more awareness to domestic violence, since the man accused of killing her was abusive to her.
"She felt that she couldn't get out (of the relationship), because the threats were then made against her family and she would rather save her family than save herself," said her friend, Charlene Jordan.
Ashlee Rucker’s friends have started a foundation called C.A.R. Everlasting to raise money for domestic violence awareness. C.A.R. were Ashlee’s initials.
Although her sister was taken from her too soon, Lisa Rucker wants Ashlee to be remembered as a good mother, a fighter and as a protective sister.
“She was my best friend. She wasn’t always on my side, but she always had the best interest in mind. She was always there when I needed her, and that’s been really hard," Lisa Rucker said.