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UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, The Bronx (PIX11) — A mother of five was gunned down in the stairway of her Bronx apartment building this week and police are searching for her killer.

Friends and family of 41-year-old Michelle Cox can’t believe she’s gone, shot execution-style inside 1985 Webster Ave. Wednesday at 10 p.m.

Cox has five children. Her long-time girlfriend, who doesn’t want her identity revealed, told PIX11 News that she believes the shooting was a case of mistaken identity.

“She was a beautiful person,” she explained. “Everybody really loved her and adored her. I don’t think anybody in their right mind would want to hurt her.”

Police said Cox went to a nearby corner store without her cellphone and then back to her building. When she arrived, the elevator wasn’t working so she was forced to take the stairs, where she was killed.

Security seems to be an ongoing issue, according to residents in the building. Police told PIX11 Cox had an extensive criminal record, and that the father of her children was visiting when Cox was found dead in the staircase.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).  All calls are strictly confidential.