TAMPA — The news didn’t make sense to Ledora East.
Her daughter Albertlean was gentle and quiet, East said. So when Tampa police called Friday to report the woman had been shot, East couldn’t understand.
"Everybody loved her and she never bothered anybody," East said.
Police have released few details about what happened that night. Officers responding to a call about shots fired at 9508 N 10th St. in North Tampa found Albertlean East and Marcus Bowden with gunshot wounds that proved fatal.
Bowden, 41, died at the scene. East, 26, died at the hospital.
By Sunday, detectives were calling on help from the public. Based on evidence collected early in the investigation, detectives believe Bowden and East knew the shooter or shooters, but no motive has been released.
"Unfortunately, no new details at this time," police spokeswoman Janelle McGregor said in an email Tuesday. "We are still asking for the public’s help in providing tips that could potentially help us solve this case."
Ledora said rumors are swirling about what happened her daughter and Brown. The couple had been together for about three years and were staying at the home, East said.
Albertlean East, who went by Abby or Lean, was the second oldest of East’s six children — five girls and a boy. She was born in Jackson, Miss., and spent much of her childhood in nearby Vicksburg before moving with her mother to Tampa.
Her younger sister Shaqoya East recalls staying up all night with her sister, laughing, playing and drawing. One time, Shaqoya asked her sister to shape her eyebrows.
"She cut off both," Shaqoya recalled with a chuckle.
Albertlean was diagnosed with a learning disability in elementary school and graduated from Blake High School in Tampa. About a decade ago, her father Albert Carter was murdered for drugs in Shreveport, La, Ledora East said. Albertlean took his death hard, her mother said. She was collecting her father’s Social Security benefits.
She loved taking photos and drawing her favorite celebrities, like rap artists T.I. and 50 Cent. She had a soft spot for hot Cheetos, butter pecan ice cream and the chicken and macaroni and cheese on the Golden Corral buffet.
Bowden had a lengthy arrest history in Florida and served time in state prison for sale of a counterfeit controlled substance, obstructing a criminal investigation, leaving the scene of a crash with injury and a cocaine-related offense, records show.
Members of Bowden’s family could not be reached Tuesday.
Albertlean East’s family said Bowden made her happy.
"She used to say she loved him a lot," Shaqoya East said.
Ledora East said she last saw her daughter the Monday before she died when East made a quick visit to the 10th Street house. Albertlean was smiling and happy, as usual, and told her mother she loved her.
She called her mother later in the week, but Ledora East was working and couldn’t answer, she said.
"I wish I could have made it to the phone," she said.
East is making arrangements to send her daughter’s body back to Vicksburg for a funeral on Sept. 15. She’ll be buried there, close to the home of her father’s mother, who has now lost her oldest son and a granddaughter to violence.
"Her grandma is taking it very hard," Ledora East said. "That was her only grandchild by her oldest son."
Police have asked anyone with information about the case to call Crime Stoppers, (800) 873-TIPS. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $3,000 with information that leads to an arrest.
Times senior news researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Contact Tony Marrero at [email protected] or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.