"All that girl did was go to work, visit her mother, go home, go to soccer with her kids," said the victim's best friend Marie Hicks.
Trigger Warning: The article mentions gun violence that some readers may find disturbing.
The search is on for a person accused of shooting a Florida mother to death right beside her two children as they slept. According to WFLA-TV, the victim was identified as Betsy Robles. Just hours after Halloween on November 1, a suspect wearing a mask and all dark clothing kicked down the door of Robles's apartment in New Port Richey and went straight to the room she was sleeping in, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said in a press conference last week, reports PEOPLE.
‘Her son was her life.’— Niko Clemmons (@WFLANiko) November 3, 2022
ICYMI on @WFLA: Betsy Robles was shot in front of two children inside a #NewPortRichey home. She died at the hospital. No arrests. @PascoSheriff doesn’t believe the shooting was random. I spoke with one of Roble’s best friends. https://t.co/dO2y8ZzVNf pic.twitter.com/FCC2dcBZxN
Nocco revealed that the suspect passed another woman who was sleeping on the couch upon entering the residence but went directly to Robles' room where he "flipped on the switch." Speaking to reporters, he said: "The victim was lying in bed with two young children. The suspect points a gun directly at her, she sits up." She allegedly requested the gunman not to shoot her before she was fired on twice. The suspect then ran away. Nocco called it a "targeted" shooting.
Authorities are searching for the person accused of shooting a Florida mom to death in front of two young children as they slept.https://t.co/Pdu3A9Omjj— Wikisin (@dailydrama79) November 8, 2022
The Pasco County Sheriff believes the shocking incident must have been traumatic for the children who witnessed the crime."For these young kids, I can imagine, they were out last night trick-or-treating. I can imagine they went to bed a little later like all the kids did last night, but... to be woken up; to have a suspect walk in, turn that light on, and shoot the person in the bed with them, it's horrific," said Nicco.
Robles's best friend Marie Hicks told reporters that they both hailed from Brooklyn in New York and have been friends for the past 24 years. "We're like two peas in a pod. Wherever you see me, you see her," Hicks said. "She used to go way over beyond for my son until this day before she passed, she called him her first son because she practiced with him." They were more than best friends, Hicks added. "She didn't deserve this at all," she said. "She's my sister." The two children who were sleeping beside Robles included her son as well, Hicks revealed. "I feel for her son," she said. "I feel for her. I try to picture what fear she felt at that moment."
Hicks still can't believe that this has happened to her friend. "Just to know the trauma that these kids now have to live with," she said. "I can't believe that someone will be so disgusting and cold-hearted to shoot a woman that's defenseless in a bed with two children next to her." Hicks revealed that she had messaged Robles the day before the incident. However, when Robles called her later, she missed the call. "I regret not calling her back," Hicks said. "I was like, I'll call her tomorrow."
She knows that there is no tomorrow anymore. But she wants people to understand who Robles was: a mother, daughter, sister, and best friend. "All that girl did was go to work, visit her mother, go home, go to soccer with her kids," Hicks said. "She was a soccer mom. That was her life. Her son was her life." Robles's family has started a fundraiser on GoFundMe to cover the funeral costs. Robles leaves behind a 3-year-old son.
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe