Mother Shoots Daughter Dead After Mistaking Her For An Intruder

It was a tragic end to the holidays for one Florida family after a mother shot her daughter dead after mistaking her for an intruder.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, St. Cloud Police Cpl. Claude Campbell Jr. placed a phone call to 911 on Tuesday, December 28, after his step-daughter, 27-year-old Ashley Doby, "passed out." In a recording released by the police, Campbell can be heard saying: "She has a pacemaker. She has a heart problem."

Campbell, a veteran member of the St. Cloud Police Department, spent nearly five minutes on the phone with the 911 dispatcher, but never once revealed why his step-daughter was unconscious. The police said on Wednesday, that the fact was omitted because he wasn't sure what had happened at the time, and didn't realize she had been shot until his wife, a 911 dispatcher with the Osceola County Sheriff's Office, explained it to him. Sherry Campbell, 45, told police that she heard someone enter their home shortly before midnight on Tuesday. Sherry said she heard footsteps in the home, moving quickly, which prompted her to fire the single shot. In no way, she said, did she realize she was aiming at her daughter. In fact, she can be heard during the 911 call apologizing to her daughter repeatedly.

"Baby, I love you so much, please!" she sobbed. "Please … Oh my god …"

Ashley Doby was taken to a nearby hospital, where she later succumbed to the gunshot wound to the chest. Sgt. Denise Roberts said that they are characterizing her death as an "accidental shooting," but the case is still under investigation.

"The homeowner's story is consistent with the physical evidence and the witness' statement," Roberts said in a news release on Wednesday. "At this time, the incident appears to be an accidental shooting; however, the investigation is ongoing …"

After the St. Cloud Police Department finishes their investigation, the case will be turned over to the Orange-Osceola State Attorney's Office, who will then decide whether or not to press any criminal charges against Sherry Campbell. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will not be investigating because the shooter was not a police officer.

"The incident... involved the mother and daughter and did not involve a SCPD Officer," Roberts said. "This is not an officer involved shooting and therefore, it will not be investigated by FDLE."

Neighbors who lived near the Campbell family on 10th Street were shocked to hear what had happened, and said they didn't hear or see a large police presence on Tuesday night.

"That's really shocking, actually," 80-year-old Harry Morris said on Wednesday while standing outside of his home on his lawn, which is located two houses down from where Doby was shot. "I've been here for 14 years, and nothing like this has ever happened. It's usually very quiet."

Morris said he had met Claude, and described him as a pleasant man who had visited his house on multiple occasions.

"I know him because he's a detective," Morris said. "He's a friendly guy."

Claude Campbell has been a member of the St. Cloud Police Department since 1998, and has served as a detective and undercover officer on several different narcotics units. He is currently on administrative leave for family medical reasons.

No further details regarding the shooting have been revealed at this time.

St. Cloud, where the shooting took place is south of Orlando, in central Florida.

[Photo via Shutterstock]