Shock and sadness outside the Davenport duplex at 1825 West 1st Street Saturday afternoon.
Just before midnight, Amanda Abbott, 25, wished her mother good night. An hour later, Amanda was found slumped in a chair, shot to death.
“One person’s senseless act,” recalled Amanda’s brother, Brandon Abbott. “What it can do to a family is unbelievable. There’s no words that can explain it really.”
Illinois investigators located A.J. Coats, 22, at a Milan trailer park later Saturday morning. After first refusing to come out, he was taken into custody.
Coats is being held Saturday night at the Rock Island County Jail. He will eventually be transferred to Davenport. That’s where he faces a variety of charges in connection with the case, including second degree murder.
Amanda’s relatives say that Coats once dated her and became jealous.
“Amanda can rest in peace knowing that he is behind bars,” Brandon said. “Justice can be served. He can get what he’s got coming to him.”
Amanda Abbott served her country for four years in the Navy. She was trying to make a new life for herself and five-year-old daughter, Destiny. Dreams that were silenced by a bullet.
She was also trying to recover from the trauma of her father’s death three months ago.
Just 12 hours after the shooting, relatives reflected on a young mother forever separated from her little girl.
“She was a really good friend,” said her cousin, Candace Jackson. “A really good person. She was friendly, nice and caring.”
“She cherished her daughter,” continued Brandon. “Loved her and did anything in her power to take care of her. Whatever she needed, she made sure she had it.”
While Amanda’s family tries to process this senseless violence, they share a lesson that already hits too close to home.
“Don’t mess with guns,” Candace said. “The way they’re not supposed to be used.”
“Don’t play with guns,” Brandon concluded. “Guns aren’t anything to be taken lightly. They will hurt and devastate a family.”
A Davenport family that knows all too well about the pain.