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Family says homicide victim had goal of being sign language interpreter

28-year-old shot and killed in East Price Hill
Posted at 5:06 PM, Dec 21, 2021

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati's latest homicide suspect was in court Tuesday for a bond hearing.

Police accuse 20-year-old Jwan McCloud of firing deadly shots in the parking lot of a convenience store in East Price Hill on Saturday afternoon. They arrested McCloud Monday. Court documents say it started with a verbal altercation, then McCloud fired a gun.

Police say the bullets hit and killed 28-year-old Lacey Florence and hurt another unnamed person. They both arrived at the hospital in a private vehicle.

Florence's family said she had a dream of becoming a sign language interpreter.

“It’s anything but fair,” said Beno Smith, Florence's cousin. “I just want the answers. We would like to know why, and we would like to have closure.”

Family says Florence was a twin sister to her brother, Zay Florence. They described her as having an infectious laugh and great personality.

"If you met her, you would love her. You would just fall in love with her. So I can't imagine why somebody would do something like this," Smith said.

It marks 90 homicides so far this year.

Cincinnati remains on track to have the second deadliest year in recent history. Last year, there were 98 homicides. According to Cincy Insights, homicide numbers stayed in the 60s and 70s dating back to 2017.

McCloud's bond is set at $1 million for the aggravated murder charge against him.

He is scheduled to be in court again on Dec. 30 and Jan. 10.