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Florida mother says US Marshals held her, baby at gunpoint after storming wrong home

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Posted at 7:47 AM, Oct 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-26 15:56:29-04

BRADENTON, Fla. — A young Florida mother says she’s traumatized after U.S. Marshals stormed the wrong apartment while searching for a murder suspect.

When her Ring doorbell activated on Friday morning, Kada Staples says she couldn't believe her eyes when she saw men pointing rifles at her door in Bradenton.

"I said, 'Hello' (through the doorbell), and they said, 'U.S. Marshalls, open the door,'" Staples said.

Staples says she quickly put her dog in his cage and came out.

The 22-year-old new mother was home alone with her 3-month-old baby and says she was scared for her life.

"They pushed me out of the way and they’re holding me and my baby at gunpoint. And I’m freaking out because there’s seven or eight of them with guns and they’re screaming at me that they know he’s in there," said Staples.

The Ring doorbell video shows the terrified woman coming out, barely dressed, holding her baby, and crying. She says she had no idea what was happening but after a couple of minutes, marshals realized it was the wrong apartment and left.

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Bradenton police say U.S. Marshals were assisting them in searching for Shamar Johnson, who is the suspect of a Sept. 11 murder. After leaving Staple's apartment, marshals rushed over to an entryway in the same building at The Preserve on 51st in Bradenton, where they found and arrested Johnson in a different apartment.

"They did come back like an hour later and said, 'We just want to explain to you that we saw a Black male run upstairs and we thought he came to your apartment, but he didn’t go to your apartment and it turns out, it wasn’t the Black man we were looking,'" said Staples.

A U.S. Marshals supervisor tells WFTS that it all happened very quickly and marshals were able to help catch a murder suspect who has been on the loose for weeks.

Staples says she's still very traumatized by the incident and is having trouble sleeping. She says she’s thankful for her Ring doorbell and knowing how to react, otherwise things may have gone much differently. Staples says she wants more done by law enforcement to prevent mistakes like this from happening.

"I think it happens more than people know and it can happen to absolutely anybody," said Staples.

This story was originally published by Wendi Lane at WFTS.