JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 65-year-old man who was shot Saturday night near the intersection of East 19th and Liberty streets has died, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday.
Franklin Beth'a was shot and found about 6:15 p.m. outside a home in the Springfield area, lying against a tree stump and being held by a witness, according to a police report.
Detectives at the scene had no information about the circumstances of the shooting and on Tuesday, the Sheriff's Office only said there was an active, ongoing homicide investigation.
Records show Beth'a lived on the same street where he was shot and killed. A memorial with candles, flowers, balloons and handwritten messages was set up outside his home.
His son, Franklin Beth'a Jr., told News4Jax on Tuesday that one of the hardest things is not knowing who did killed his father or why. But he said seeing the outpourings of support lets him know how many lives his father touched.
"Personally, he was my hero," said Beth'a Jr., who is a pastor. "He was more of a father figure and a staple in our community."
Whether it was at a Jaguars game or just spending time together at home, Beth'a's son said his father loved being with his family.
"He wasn't a large man in stature, but he was a large man in character," he said. "Everyone that came across his path understood that character that he had -- character that could make you laugh, but also character that could make you think."
According to Beth'a Jr., his father had been sitting in a friend's car on Saturday when someone started shooting. The son said he isn't sure whether the shooting was because of road rage, a robbery attempt, retaliation or something else.
"It is never easy to lose someone you love," Beth'a Jr. said. "So you do the best you can to try to make some smiles. You try to think positive in these moments."
Now, the family is hopeful that the investigation will lead to an arrest.
"It's extremely frustrating to not have all the information because my father was a lot of things to a lot of people," he said. "I've always wanted to be the type of man that my father was to his family, to his friends, and so it means so much to know that he has touched so many lives."
Beth'a Jr. said he forgives the person who shot his father, but he wants them to know they need to pay the consequences for what they did.
Police asked anyone with information about the shooting is asking to call the Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or, to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward, call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.