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Acquaintance of murder suspect says Ashley Horning is 'mentally unstable'

SPOKANE, Wash. - A young mother is jailed, accused of a domestic violence attack that left another person dead. The victim was shot to death in an east Spokane home.

The suspect, 25-year-old Ashley Horning, was arrested in the parking lot of a nearby Safeway at Mission and Hamilton about two hours after the shooting. Police believe this was a case of domestic violence.

Although, the victim has not been identified, the suspect did apparently know her or him. Horning has two children. Both girls, both taken away from her and in the custody of their fathers. There was a restraining order that forbid Horning from being at the home on the 2100-block of East Cataldo Avenue.

KXLY4 were able to talk with someone who has a close relationship to the suspect. He asked not to be on-camera. He said Horning's had mental health problems over the years, but he never thought she would do something like this.

The scene at about 10 a.m. Thursday had several teams of detectives, police officers, and K9 units. They were actively searching the neighborhood for Horning, around the East Cataldo and Crestline.

"She is considered armed and dangerous," said Officer John O'Brien, Spokane Police Department.

Police said Horning had a restraining order against her, to keep her out of the home she later committed a crime in.

"She returned today, there was a homicide and she has fled," Officer O'Brien said.

The search had nearby Stevens Elementary on lockdown, until Horning was taken into custody.

Before 11 a.m., police arrested Horning at the Safeway on Mission Avenue. Police said someone called 911 to report where she was.

"She was waiting in the parking lot and she was taken into custody without incident," Officer O'Brien said.

Soon after her arrest, an acquaintance of Horning's came to the scene. 

"She - I thought to be a good person, but I knew was mentally unstable," said an acquaintance of Horning.

He heard about the allegations, but he had to see it with his own eyes.

"It makes no sense to me," said an acquaintance of Horning.

He says horning has had her battles.

"Needed help and was off of her medication," said an acquaintance of Horning.

 But he didn't think she was capable of killing someone.

"Her talk was all about suicide to herself and not to others," said an acquaintance of Horning.

The suspect's acquaintance told KXLY4 she used to live in the house on East Cataldo Avenue.

Now, this person who's had a close relationship with Horning is left with many questions. The most important - why.

"I have no clue - everything is still fresh and I've got to take it as it comes," said an acquaintance of Horning.

The victim's identity hasn't been released yet. Horning was booked on second-degree murder charges. This is a developing story, stay with KXLY4 News for all the details as they become available.


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