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Avondale woman shot in her apartment was 'a very sweet soul,' a loving mother

Posted at 11:10 PM, Sep 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-12 01:06:29-04

CINCINNATI — Sean Abernathy knows exactly how to describe Shauna Gardner to people who never met her: “A very sweet soul,” a loving mother to her four children and a cheerleader for their education.

He just doesn’t know what to tell their 8-year-old about her death.

“I don’t know how to explain to my daughter that she got killed looking out the window,” he said Wednesday night.

Gardner was shot to death while sitting inside her Prospect Place apartment Tuesday night. The bullet came from from the street outside. Investigators said they didn’t know if it had been a targeted attack or if she was a casualty of something else.

Abernathy works overnight. He didn’t know Gardner was dead — that their daughter now had only one parent — until he saw her face on the 6 a.m. news.

“We just lost a beautiful angel, a mother, a single parent mother at that," he said. "And she wasn’t out here just doing whatever. She was taking care of her kids.”

Like police, he said he didn’t know who would have killed her. He placed the blame, in part, on Cincinnati’s larger gun violence problem.

“It’s very sad,” he said. “I don’t know what to even say or do anymore, for real. I don’t even know what’s the next step. I know the step that I’m looking for is justice.”

Abernathy said he plans to raise his daughter with help from their extended family. He also hopes to keep Gardner’s name and face in the news, where someone with information about the shooting can recognize them.

“God will punish you in many different ways,” he said of the shooter. “All I can say is do the right thing. That’s all I’m going to say. Do the right thing.”

Anyone with information about Gardner’s death should call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.