PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – What happened three years ago in a Wesley Chapel home on Halloween night still haunts a Tampa Bay area family, especially the two young boys who watched their mother get shot in the face.
“As soon as Halloween’s over, we take it all down so it’s not too much of a constant reminder,” said Carin, the boy’s grandmother.
Carin asked to only use her first name and conceal her identity on camera because the nearly deadly home invasion has gone unsolved and the attackers have not yet been caught.
“The boys were there and witnessed it and are traumatized by it quite obviously,” she said of the boys now 5 and 8-years-old. “So they have the ghosts of their former life and what our life is now.”
A Pasco County Sheriff’s office spokesperson told 8 On Your Side on Oct. 31, 2017, two men entered the home through the garage just after 10 p.m. and demanded items of value before shooting Carin’s daughter in the face.
She survived, but has severe health issues and her mother says “she’ll never be the same.”
“It is believed that this was not a random event based on the witness statements indicating that the suspect was known to the victim, along with narcotics evidence that was located at the house where the home invasion occurred,” the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
“We’ve chosen the boys over her,” Carin said of the lasting impact of the home invasion on her family. “She understand that they have to be the priority cause again they didn’t ask for any of this.”
Surveillance video from the night of the home invasion shows a black 4-door sedan, possibly a Nissan Maxima, that deputies said two suspects may have fled in with a third person driving.
Carin said the detective assigned to this unsolved case suggested she contact 8 On Your Side.
“We were hoping maybe just getting the word out that someone would come forward and then we would finally have some peace of mind and we’d be able to tell the boys that they didn’t have to worry for their safety and have some justice for our daughter,” Carin said.
Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is offering a $5,000 reward for information that can help deputies make an arrest and bring closure for Carin’s family.
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