A Pensacola teenager has pleaded not guilty to charges that he killed his own mother.
David Allan Ohlson, 18, is being held without bond in the Escambia County Jail, accused of second-degree murder with a firearm. His attorney, Sharon Wilson, filed motions with the court this week entering Ohlson’s not guilty plea, waiving arraignment and demanding a jury trial.
According to the arrest report filed with the Escambia County Clerk’s Office, Ohlson admitted to shooting and killing his mother at about 1 a.m. April 8 at their Bellview home. During his interview, he told Escambia County Sheriff’s Office deputies “of all the people he planned to shoot, he did not expect his mother to be one of them.”
Escambia County Sheriff’s Office deputies say Ohlson’s father, 43-year-old David Aaron Ohlson, or Aaron Ohlson, called to report the shooting, saying his son had shot his wife but that it was “accidental.” When they arrived on scene, they found David Ohlson’s mother in the living room with a shotgun wound to her abdomen. She was taken to the hospital where she died in surgery.
The victim’s name is redacted in the arrest report at her husband’s request. Florida law allows victim’s families to decide if the person’s name should be made public, but Aaron Ohlson referenced the passing of his wife, 48-year-old Adriana Ohlson, in numerous social media posts on his Facebook and Instagram accounts, as well as frequent posts about his concern for his son.
“Your homies came to see you today son!! They hung out in your room they stuck around and hung out!! It felt good it just hurts so bad that you’re not here and neither is your mom,” Aaron Ohlson posted on his Facebook page on April 28, followed by a series of sad and crying emojis.
According to the arrest report, Aaron Ohlson told deputies he and Adriana had separated three weeks earlier and he was living with relatives. He said his wife called him at about 12:30 a.m. April 8, because their son was “acting out” and she mentioned a gun, but he couldn’t remember exactly what she said. Ohlson said he started driving to their home on Princeton Drive and on the way his wife called him back to say “things had calmed down.”
When he got there, Ohlson reported he saw his wife standing in the living room, and their son, David, was sitting cross-legged on the floor. Ohlson said his son then raised a shotgun, pointing it first at him and then at his mother. As he moved toward the teen, Ohlson said he fired the shotgun at her and immediately dropped the weapon.
“The father picked up the shotgun and secured it inside of his truck outside the home and returned and called 9-1-1,” the responding deputy wrote. “The father stated that David Allan Ohlson has some psychological issues, but he stated he was unaware of exactly what the issues were.”
David Ohlson told deputies that, “his life fell apart about three weeks ago when his parents separated,” and that recently his mother had lost “empathy” for him, and he believed she was going to leave. He told investigators they had argued earlier that day when she got home, and he thought she was “very cold” toward him. Ohlson said he got angry and decided to retrieve the shotgun from a safe in the house and put it in his car with the intention of killing a friend of his mother’s.
However, Ohlson said he couldn’t go through with it and he didn’t even leave the driveway, so he brought the gun back in the house and pointed it at his mother and himself as they were “arguing.” He also told deputies that the situation had calmed down before his dad arrived and he had unloaded the shotgun, but when his dad got there, he loaded a round in the chamber, raised the shotgun, pointed it at his mother and pulled the trigger.
“David Allan Ohlson also made a statement that he had no right to shoot his mother over words,” the report stated.
On April 9, the day after Adriana Ohlson was killed, her husband posted a number of pictures of his wife, son and family on his social media accounts, including a photo of himself and Adriana Ohlson on Instagram with the caption:
“Adriana you are my forever and ever ♥️❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ you and David are all i ever want and all i ever need!! I don’t know how to move forward I’m frozen I’m scared I’m absolutely shattered 😪 but right now our boy needs us! Send some help down from above please baby we gotta stand strong for our boy are ‘Big strong bear 🐻’ you from up there and me down here! Let’s do this baby are boy needs us! Don’t worry about me I’ve been hurtin since I was a kid and one thing I know how to do is live hurt! Our son needs us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
On Facebook, Ohlson also announced information about his wife’s funeral, which was held in person and online April 22, at First Pentecostal Church in Pensacola. The service is available on the church’s website. According to friends and family who spoke at Adriana Ohlson’s “Homegoing Celebration,” she was originally from Recife, Brazil, and had a large extended family there, but she had built a life in the United States as wife and mother to their only child, David Allan Ohlson. The Ohlson’s 20-year wedding anniversary was Dec. 26, 2021.
Much of the service was given in both English and Portuguese, Adriana Ohlson’s native language. Her loved ones describe her as a devout follower of Christ who attended both First Pentecostal Church and a local church with a Brazilian congregation. One of the attendees read her obituary at the service.
“Adriana was a devoted and loving mother to David Allan Feijo Ohlson,” the woman introduced as Sister Duce said. “She supported and encouraged David in every aspect of his life. Her love for her family and God is a shining example of what a mother and a faithful servant should be. She had a beaming smile, friendly personality, and outgoing nature. She will be missed and remembered by so many people who were lucky enough to know her.”
Adriana Ohlson’s older sister, missionary and special education teacher Soraya Barbosa, traveled from Brazil to represent her sister’s family at the service, speaking on behalf of their mother, stepfather, siblings, nieces, nephews and cousins.
“Adriana was loved by everyone,” Barbosa said in her condolences. “God is good. When ‘Drica,’ Andriana’s Brazilian nickname, came to the United States I gave her a Bible as a farewell gift. I had prayed she would find salvation, until one day, perhaps months later, she called me and told me she had given her life to Jesus. …Since April 8, Adriana has been celebrating eternal life next to her savior.”
Adriana Ohlson’s sister-in-law, Sarah Hayles, tearfully remembered how special she was to her friends and family, especially to her son, who seemed to require extra care.
“So many people knew and loved Adriana,” Sara Hayles said. “She had such a friendly and caring personality. She was an amazing mom who went above and beyond for her son. She was a kind and fun aunt who taught my kids all about the colors of Carnival and the beauty of Brazil.”
Adriana Ohlson’s estranged husband, Aaron Ohlson, also spoke at the service. In the video, he initially appeared to struggle as he stepped up to the podium and briefly put his head on his arms before speaking more than 20 minutes orating. He said his late wife was drawn to him the night they met at a club in a Pensacola because he had a Jesus pendant on his necklace and she thought he went to church.
Ohlson said his wife saw potential in him that none of her friends or even his own mother saw in him and despite their warnings that he was “trouble” and might not be worth her time, they hit it off and married a few months after they met. Two years later he said they were blessed with the “wonderful” birth of their son, David, in 2003, and how tenuous her pregnancy was when Adriana Ohlson was bedridden for five months.
“I was being told by the doctors to be prepared to lose one or the other, maybe both,” Ohlson said. “So that went on for months on my mind and I thought that was bad enough, but I didn’t lose either one of them and we spent the next 18 years dedicated to our son, my son, David Allan, who was her pride and joy and mine, still is.”
Ohlson said for the next 18 years they both focused on David and their family and that it was “all work, really little play, and all work because we both understood to get anywhere in life it takes constant work and dedication.” According to their social media accounts, Adriana was primarily a stay-at-home mom who also spent time working at her local churches, and Aaron Ohlson has worked at Southway Crane & Rigging since 2015. On Instagram he describes himself as “Musician. Hard worker. Love life. Family man. Pensacola boy ya hoid!!”
Ohlson has numerous photos of he and his son together on social media going back years. One post, dated Sept. 7, 2015, shows a picture of then 11-year-old David Ohlson holding a semi-automatic weapon at a gun store with the caption: “Little drummer boy and his 50 friends! #223 #streetsweeper #Proudpapa.”
According to the latest court filing from the State Attorney’s Office, David Ohlson killed his mother but not with any “premeditated design.” Prosecutors also filed a motion asking the young man to “offer evidence of any alibi” in his defense. His next court date has not yet been set. In the meantime, Adriana Ohlson’s friends and family say they are praying for peace and healing.
“I know that we are all dealing with this tragedy today the best way that we can,” said First Pentecostal Church Senior Pastor Brian Kinsey. “We’re coming to grips with one of the very worst things that can happen to a family and it just hurts our heart.”
This article originally appeared on Pensacola News Journal: Pensacola teen accused of killing mom after parents separated