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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

One dead after Christmas Day shooting at Gainesville Walgreens

Woman in custody after shooting two individuals, fleeing the scene

A Hawthorne woman is facing charges of first degree murder, attempted murder and child neglect after a Christmas Day shooting left one dead and another seriously injured.

Amanda Marie Janzen, 38, is accused of shooting the father of her 11-month-old child and his girlfriend at a Gainesville Walgreens, at 3909 NW 39th Ave., before leading police on a 13-mile, high-speed chase with five children inside the vehicle, according to the arrest report.

After their 11-month-old child was born, Janzen believed the father was engaging in an extramarital affair. This led the victim to file for full child custody in family court, according to the arrest report.

Five days before the shooting, Putnam County Family Court ordered a 50/50 child custody arrangement with Janzen and the father. The Walgreens was the designated dropoff location, court documents revealed.

On Christmas Day, Janzen drove to the Walgreens to drop off her child in accordance with the custody agreement. Inside the vehicle were five children, a loaded firearm, and two additional loaded magazines, according to the police report.

Before stopping at the Walgreens, Janzen pulled over and gave the oldest son her debit card, food stamp card and instructions on how to pay bills, the affidavit said.

Once at the Walgreens, Janzen removed a firearm from her purse and cocked it while waiting for the child’s father to arrive. 

When the father arrived with his girlfriend, Janzen stepped out of her vehicle and shot the woman three times, killing her. She then approached the father, who was attempting to flee, and shot him three times, according to the arrest report.

Janzen was heard shouting, “You made this happen,” while shooting the child’s father.

Janzen sped away in her vehicle northbound on Northwest 13th Street with all five children still inside. A Gainesville police officer heard the gunshots and observed a vehicle fleeing the area, which led to a high speed chase.

Janzen led officers on a 13-mile chase that reached speeds of 100 miles per hour and involved officers from the Gainesville Police Department, the Alachua Police Department and the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. During the pursuit, Janzen called 911 and told them she shot two people. In the background, Janzen’s children were begging her to stop, according to the police report.

After finally coming to a stop, Janzen discarded the firearm.

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Janzen is being held at the Alachua County Jail with a $2 million bond. She is charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and five counts of child neglect. A charge of attempting to elude police was later removed. 

Contact Daniel Bednar at dbednar@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @Danielbednar5. 

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Daniel Bednar

Daniel Bednar is a first-year political science major and the Criminal Justice reporter for The Alligator. When he's not writing, you can find him scuba diving in the Keys or flying airplanes. 


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