Family, friends grieve for bicyclist killed in crime spree

Victim part of recent Westside crime spree

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Friends and family are still grieving after the loss of their friend, 56-year-old Terry Sikes. Sikes was killed last weekend while riding his bicycle. He was one of the victims of the Westside crime spree that is still impacting neighbors in the area. 

Sikes was hit by a car and killed on La Moya Avenue Sunday during an early morning bike ride. Police believe the crime started at a bus stop on Weconnett when two men approached a man and robbed him. After that, police said the two men confronted another man at a bus stop, where the victim told police the men robbed him and then hit him with a car. Not far from the post office is where police say Sikes was riding his bike. The crooks hit Sikes and left the scene, dumping the car at a nearby apartment complex. 

Investigators arrested 23-year-old Eddie Postway on Sunday on charges of possession of a firearm by convicted felon, carrying a concealed firearm and theft of a firearm. They also arrested 20-year-old Cyrus Benjamin on Monday on charges of armed robbery and tampering with evidence. In addition, both are now charged with felony murder in the death of John Sikes and also attempted murder.

Rodney Smith grew up on the northside with Terry Sikes. He told Channel 4 Thursday that he'd reconnected with Sikes when the two became interested in running. Smith said when he heard about Sike's death, he couldn't believe his friend was gone, and killed so senselessly.  

"I was shocked, I saw it in the paper, that it was John Sikes, but I didn't make the connection that it was Terry Sikes until yesterday. I was shocked," said Smith.

Sikes was well known among runners. Thursday night, his weekly running group met in San Marco where many said Sikes should have been. 

"Terry was the nicest, kindest, most loving man I know," said Elaine Davis.  

While the tragedy that took Terry's life has left his family and his friends hurt, the obituary in today's paper sums up how his family feels about a man they called "a champion of good."

"For if there is anything we can do to truly honor Terry, it will be to forgive and harbor no ill will," the Obituary reads. Forgiving the people who took Terry's life is something friends say they still struggle with, but something they will do. 

"I think it's terrible how this happened. I'm real angry about it. I've been advised by friends to tone it down a little bit," said Doug Tillett. "We know people have been arrested, and we hope they're going to be brought to justice this time instead of out on the street to hurt other people. " 

There will be a gathering Friday night from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at First United Methodist Church on 225 East Duval Street downtown. The funeral will beheld at the church Saturday at 11 a.m.

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