Family wants answers in death of loved one

Family of man shot at Jax Beach restaurant gathers at State Attorney's Office

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The family of a man shot and killed outside a Jacksonville Beach restaurant is demanding action more than a month after his death.

Zachariah Tipton, 40, was killed June 26 after a group of men got into fight outside Nippers Beach Grille.

Jacksonville Beach police have questioned several people but have made no arrests.

On Wednesday afternoon, Tipton's family met outside the State Attorney's Office for a demonstration. They said the gathering would be peaceful and was all about demanding answers.

"The family right now, we are wanting to know information regarding his murder," said Tina Tipton, Zachariah Tipton's sister. "We feel we don't know more than the general public, and that's upsetting."

The Jacksonville Beach Police Department has filed the case with the State Attorney's Office for review and any potential further investigation, but so far no charges have been filed against anyone involved.

"We've lost someone mighty important in our life, and no one knows who, why or anything," said Jimmy Carter, Zachariah Tipton's father. "I understand there's an ongoing investigation going on, but I think it's about time that the family has the right to know."

Police there said that a group of men got into a verbal altercation the night Zachariah Tipton was killed that quickly became a fight outside the restaurant. During the fight, Tipton was shot once and killed.

Witnesses told News4Jax the shooter surrendered immediately, but police have not released the shooter's name or other details. They said it's because the decision about filing charges still hasn't been made.

Family members said they have been told that this is a possible self-defense shooting investigation, which could take weeks or even months to complete. That's why they demonstrated at the State Attorney's Office Wednesday, asking for a faster resolution.

"They're saying they have a lot of conflicting stories. What's the truth and what's lies?" said Kathy Livingston, a family friend. "So they have to go through all of it, and the family wants some answers."

"The State Attorney's Office is conducting a thorough investigation into the fatal shooting at Nippers," it said in a statement Wednesday. "An investigation can take weeks or even months to complete. At this time, no information will be released regarding the pending investigation."

Zachariah Tipton left behind a wife and three children. He and his wife owned a glass windows cleaning business in Fernandina Beach, and friends said he loved boats and riding motorcycles.

Family members said if they don't know something within the next few weeks, they are planning to demonstrate until this case is resolved.