While in hiding, Lakeland family seeks justice for great-grandmother killed in Christmas Eve shooting

Polk County

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – A Polk County family is hoping 2021 brings arrests, several of them, for the people responsible for killing its 70-year old matriarch.

“I just want to see justice done as soon as possible,” said Mrs. Lamone, who did not want to share her first name publicly.

She was shot Christmas Eve in her front yard, along with her husband, her 13-year old daughter, and her mother, Maebelle Cooper.

Cooper, a great-grandmother, did not survive.

“She was just a magnificent, beautiful soul that cared so much about her family, her friends. She just loved everyone,” said Mrs. Lamone. “This is someone that nobody can ever replace in our family. She was a great woman and she would do anything for anybody and the best cook there is.”

“My mother had a light that shined so bright that she impacted everyone that she crossed paths with,” said Katrina, Cooper’s daughter.

(To help the family, visit their GoFundMe page.)

The family planned to build a gingerbread house on Christmas Eve.

Lamone says her teenage son went to pick up a cell phone he brought from an online seller. When he got to the meeting place, he was robbed and a fight broke out, according to Mrs. Lamone.

Mrs. Lamone was called to the scene where she managed to get in possession of a gun belonging to the suspects.

Then, the trouble followed the family home to Amos Avenue.

“As soon as we got ready to call the police, my kids, my mom, everyone is outside, they pulled up and began shooting. They shot me. They shot my husband. They shot my daughter. And unfortunately they killed my mom,” said Mrs. Lamone.

Mrs. Lamone was shot several times in the chest. Her husband was shot in the arm. Their 13-year old daughter shot in the thigh. The home is riddled with bullet holes and shell casings.

The Lamone family is not living in their home for fear of retribution, since the shooters are still at-large while carrying a heavy heart.

“We basically watched my mother die in front of our yard and it’s hard to walk out the door every day and actually see the spot that my mom died in,” said Mrs. Lamone.

She believes the incident was gang-related and involved several car loads of teenagers.

She is begging for someone to come forward with information but believes some people are too scared to call police.

“It’s just hurting to the community to have someone out here like this that has no regards for human life,” she said.

“Say something. If you’re not doing it to snitch, do it for her,” said Katrina about her mother.

“This is an active investigation and therefore, to protect the integrity of the investigation, many details regarding the case are not available for release. Our focus remains on bringing those responsible into custody and conducting a thorough investigation to ensure justice for the victims,” wrote spokesperson Robin Tillett in a statement.

The Lamones will be attending a community prayer event at St. Peters Apostolic Church on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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