JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A memorial on Blanding Boulevard for a slain mother struck by a stray bullet last week has grown in the last couple of days. One of the latest additions: three gray balloons asking "Why?"
One woman knelt down at the memorial Wednesday morning to light candles in memory of 41-year-old Analiza Gobaton.
The mother of three was on her way to two of her children's award ceremony at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on the Westside when she was shot two blocks from the church while sitting in traffic.
Just days after her death, residents on Transylvania Avenue, where the shooting took place Friday morning, continue to ask why.
Police said a cocaine deal turned into a shootout on the short side street. Investigators have arrested 23-year-old Taurice Brown in connection with the fatal shooting and detectives said another man is being sought.
Compared to the busy and hectic Blanding Boulevard and nearby 103rd Street, Transylvania Avenue has little to no traffic going through. Detectives said the shooting happened about 125 yards away from Blanding.
Depending on who you ask, Transylvania is either a quiet street or a street that's known for drug activity.
"There's a lot of traffic that comes up and down, in and out of these houses, all the time," said resident Thomas Blakeney, whose home was struck by stray bullets Friday. "We know what's going on."
Many neighbors said they are angry with what happened. Many didn't want to be identified for fear of what might happen to them.
"She was an innocent lady minding her own business, and you were so ignorant that you were standing in the middle of the road acting stupid," one angry resident said of the shooter. "That could have been anyone, because there's children that walk on this street."
Resident Bill Tedders said he has a gun inside his home and would have used it Friday morning if he needed to.
"If I heard that shooting, I would have come out here and I would have aimed and shot somebody who was going down my road shooting some bullets, shooting a dang gun like an idiot," Tedders said.
Viewings for Gobaton will be held Thursday and Friday from 5 to 9 p.m., with a rosary at 6 p.m., at Jacksonville Memory Gardens Funeral Home, 111 Blanding Blvd., in Orange Park.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 5752 Blanding Blvd.
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