A Florida woman is currently in custody following a tragic incident on Christmas Day that left one woman dead and the father of her child injured. The incident occurred during a scheduled child custody exchange in front of a local drugstore. Amanda Marie Janzen, 38, is facing two counts of premeditated murder in the first degree and five counts of child neglect, as per Alachua County court records.
Janzen and the male victim are parents to an 11-month-old child. A family court in Putnam County had recently ordered the parents to share custody equally. As per the agreement, Janzen was to hand over the infant to the father at a Walgreens in Gainesville at 2 p.m. on December 25.
On the day of the incident, Janzen reportedly drove to the pharmacy with all five of her children in the car. Prior to their arrival, she allegedly gave her oldest son her SNAP benefits card, debit card, and instructions on how to pay a phone bill. This was a task the boy had never undertaken before, according to the arrest report.
Janzen arrived at the location first and while waiting in her car, she allegedly pulled out a gun from her bag and prepared it. When the father of her child and his girlfriend arrived, Janzen allegedly approached the woman, who was still in the driver’s seat, with the gun concealed behind her back. She then allegedly fired three shots, killing the woman.
Following this, Janzen allegedly sought out the child’s father, who had retreated to the front passenger seat of his girlfriend’s car. He was reportedly shot three times. Janzen allegedly shouted, “You made this happen,” as she fired at him.
A police officer nearby heard the gunshots and rushed to the scene. The officer saw Janzen’s car leaving the scene and began to follow her. Several other law enforcement officers joined the pursuit, which lasted for approximately 13 miles.
During the chase, Janzen reportedly called 911 and confessed to the shooting. She also mentioned that she was being pursued by the police. The arrest report states that all five children were still in the car, pleading with their mother to stop and pull over, as she led officers on a high-speed chase.
When Janzen’s vehicle finally came to a stop, she allegedly discarded the loaded firearm from the vehicle. Officers found two additional loaded magazines on her person. The incident was captured on surveillance video. Janzen, who has a criminal history dating back nearly two decades, is currently being held on a $2 million bond in the Alachua County Jail. She has been assigned a public defender.