Police: Woman charged with murder in deadly shooting at Riverside gas station

Tairrah Demeka McGriff arrested in shooting death of Sahara Barkley, JSO says

Booking photo of Tairrah McGriff on scene image
Booking photo of Tairrah McGriff on scene image

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A woman accused of shooting and killing another woman at a Riverside BP gas station on New Year’s Day faced a judge for the first time Saturday. 

Tairrah Demeka McGriff, 22, is charged with murder in the shooting death of 24-year-old Sahara Barkley late Monday evening at a BP gas station on Stockton Street, police said.

According to the Sheriff's Office, a tip identified McGriff as the suspect after surveillance video was released.  

WATCH: Store surveillance video released by JSO

A warrant was issued for her arrest on Wednesday, and she turned herself on Friday evening, police said. 

Investigators said the two women, who did not appear to know each other, got into an altercation at the BP gas station, during which McGriff shot and killed Barkley.

Before the Sheriff's Office's announcement, Barkley's mother, Rozella Brooks-White, told News4Jax that a detective told her that an arrest had been made in her daughter's death.

Brooks-White said that her daughter's life revolved around her 1-year-old son and that she went to the Riverside gas station frequently because she lived a couple of blocks away.

McGriff was booked into the Duval County jail just before 7:30 p.m. She made her first appearance before a judge Saturday. 

Relatives of Barley and McGriff were present for her first appearance. 

Sahara Barkley's mother, Rosie Brooks-White, said Saturday will be the first of many court appearances she will attend as McGriff works her way to trial.

“It's really sad for both sides of the family,” Brooks said. “But I'm just ecstatic that justice was served for my baby. (I have) a little bit of mixed emotions.”

News4Jax spoke with McGriff’s aunt, Nichole Earvin, who said she has empathy for Barkley’s family. 

“We feel sorry for the other family because they lost someone else to violence,” Earvin said. “A senseless murder.”

McGriff will have an arraignment date in court in coming weeks.

On the same day, dozens gathered outside the BP Gas Station where Barkley was killed on Stockton Street in Riverside. Those who attended brought balloons in memory of the young mother.

Barkey's family tells News4Jax her funeral is scheduled for January 20th.

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