Detroit mother fatally shot in front of her daughter - FOX 35 News Orlando

Detroit mother fatally shot in front of her daughter

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Shalonna Dowdell Shalonna Dowdell
DETROIT (WJBK) -

29-year-old Shalonna Dowdell had just moved into a house on Detroit's west side and started a new job.  Things were going well for her, but one man stole the life that she should've had.

"I just saw her the other day and for somebody to take her life is like -- why would they do that?" said Gabrielle Hearndon.

Dowdell was her cousin, but she was more like a mother.

"She took my sisters in when my mother died.  She cared for a lot of people.  She [was] even the godmother of my baby, and she [was] just like an awesome person."

She was also a great neighbor.  Dowdell and her six-year-old daughter moved into the house just weeks ago.

"Made me feel a bit comfortable around here.  I was able to sit on the porch a little bit more and enjoy the weather and the neighborhood," a neighbor told us.

However, that all changed Tuesday night.

"Around here you hear gunshots, but this was close, which I knew it came from next door."

The young mother had been shot.  It happened in front of her house, in front of her daughter.

The alleged shooter has been identified as 45-year-old Joe Lloyd, a man who family members say wanted a relationship with Dowdell, and when she said no, began threatening her.

Dowdell's little girl ran to her neighbor's house for help.

"When she came back, she was frantic and just sad."

Wednesday morning, police found Lloyd in a parking lot at 13 Mile and Woodward dead inside his van with a gun and a suicide note confessing to the murder.

"All the females in the world that you could have and you just like kill somebody because they don't want you in front of her baby," Hearndon remarked.

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