JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The family of a 20-year-old Jacksonville woman shot and killed while working at MetroPCS on Main Street Saturday night is awaiting answers in the search for her killer.
The mother and younger brother of Shelby Farah have vowed to wait outside the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office until an arrest is made.
"His face was the last face Shelby saw," the victim's mother said. "I want my face to be the first face he sees when they bring him in."
Farah was killed Saturday evening at the MetroPCS store on North Main Street when police said a man seen in surveillance video robbed the shop and shot her several times. On Tuesday, JSO said an arrest was made in the case.
Darlene Farah said she dropped her daughter off at work the day she was killed and said she was worried about her safety. But Farah reassured her everything would be OK and said she would be fully cooperative if she was ever held at gunpoint.
"I said, 'Shelby, if you ever got robbed, what would you do? Would you cooperate? Would you not cooperate?'" Darlene said. "She said, 'Mom, I would give him the keys to my car, I would load his stuff up for him.' She says, 'I can't believe you would ask me that.'"
Sitting on the steps outside police headquarters, Darlene Farah is begging for answers. The past few days have been the toughest in her life dealing with her daughter's killing.
"Everybody calls, 'Are you OK?'" Darlene said. "No, I'm not OK. I would be better when he's off the street."
By her side is her 16-year-old son, Caleb, who says his sister was the sweetest person he'd ever known.
"She wouldn't hurt a fly. It's so sad," he said. "It's always the good ones that go first, always the good ones that go first."
Shelby was a volunteer, a mentor, and a cheerleading coach for young girls. She was going to Florida State College at Jacksonville and wanted to be a detective.
"She didn't have a bad bone in her body," said Anwar Mills, a close friend of Shelby's. "She's always smiling, she was always perky."
As Shelby's devastated family waits for answers and for justice, they hope someone will do the right thing.
"Since then, I've had two hours of sleep since Saturday," Caleb said. "I don't think I can go to sleep for a whole night knowing that this man who killed my sister is out there."
"It can be your daughter or your mother or your sister if we don't get him off the streets," Darlene said.
Shelby's pastor said he's working with the family during this tragic time.
"We're working with the family to make sure that all the arrangements are to the family's desire," Pastor Rodgers said. "We're putting together a bank account so we can get donations to help in the final arrangements, and also to take care of her little brother and little sister as well."
"We really do want to let everyone know how special a young lady that Shelby is to us," Rodgers said. "The tragedy that is happening to this family is a tragedy that could happen to any family in any place. And we really just want people to know how great a young lady she was."
Rodgers wasn't sure how long Shelby had been working at MetroPCS, but said she took the job to help pay for classes she took at FSCJ.
Before working at the cellphone store, she worked as an after-school cheerleading coach for young girls. She taught much more than the sport; she taught them life lessons.
"She was a positive role model even at such a young age," Rodgers said. "Showing the girls at community school what she learned as a cheerleader to give them something to do so that they would be positive role models in their own neighborhoods. It's just so tragic that we had to lose her in such a senseless and tragic way as this."
Rodgers said he was touched when he saw a YouTube tribute to Shelby. The video was made by some of her classmates and shows pictures from high school and graduation pictures.
"We really want to make sure that we're praying for her mom, sister and brother right now, and that everyone knows how special Shelby was not only to her family but to her community," Rodgers said. "She lived in the community. She lived and worked really hard to make her community better. It's just such a tragic loss to our community that Shelby is no longer with us."
Anyone who has any information about the identity or location of the man seen in surveillance photos is asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.
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