JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The family of a woman shot and killed in a McDonald's drive-thru on Baymeadows Road Friday said the 32-year-old was a loving mother of three children and didn't deserve to die.
Family members say Jamie Roque was a devoted mother of three young boys and brightened the lives of everyone she knew.
A close friend and coworker said Roque was her rock when she needed support.
"She was there for anyone. No matter what you were going through, she always had the best advice. She would be there for you, no matter what time of day it was. It could be 2 in the morning. You’d call her and she’d answer the phone right away. Anything you needed, she was there,” Brittany Chanclor said.
Roque was in the process of ordering breakfast Friday morning in the drive-thru line of the McDonald's restaurant on Baymeadows Road between Interstate 95 and Philips Highway when a man approached and shot her in the head, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. She died shortly after being rushed to Memorial Hospital.
“When I heard it and I saw it, it was unbelievable,” said Roque’s sister, Sharon Kates, after finding out Friday that her sister had been shot and killed.
Now, Kates and her family are remembering Roque and the legacy she leaves behind.
“She inspires me to want to be better,” Kates said. “She inspires me to want to be a better mom, a better friend, a better sister.”
Family and friends described Roque as fiercely loyal, loving and the kind of person who made everyone feel like a friend.
Kates said she spoke to her sister just before she died.
“I was blessed to be able to say ‘I love you,’” Kates said. “And she said it back. Put the sheet right over her head and said, ‘I’m going back to sleep. I’ll see you when you get off.’ You know, like, I was truly blessed in that aspect.”
For Kates, it’s important that her sister be remembered for the life she lived, instead of how her life ended.
“Not ‘the girl that got shot at McDonald’s.’ I will not allow anyone to shortchange that, her life,” Kates said. “It means too much to too many people for that to be the title of her ending in this world.”
Detectives said several witnesses reported seeing a man believed to be involved in the shooting leaving, driving east on Baymeadows Road in a four-door white car. The gunman was described as a heavy-set black man with low hair.
Investigators said the woman and the gunman may have known each other.
"With as busy traffic as there is around here, maybe some witnesses who saw something left. We really would love them to call JSO and tell us what they saw," JSO detective Marc Musser said.
A woman who told News4Jax she frequently picks up breakfast at that McDonald's said she had just left minutes before the shooting.
"I just can't believe I was that close to that situation and, you know, I feel for the family, I pray for the family," said the woman, who did not want to give her name. "I'm just scared because stuff is happening everywhere. At our kids' schools, at work."
Jose Hernandez, owner of the McDonald’s franchise, released a statement late Friday:
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family and loved ones. We are working with law enforcement as part of this ongoing investigation. Our biggest priority is always the safety and well-being of our employees and customers at our restaurants.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family and loved ones. We are working with law enforcement as part of this ongoing investigation. Our biggest priority is always the safety and well-being of our employees and customers at our restaurants.”
Family and friends have set up a GoFundMe account to help Roque's three boys.
Anyone with information about the suspect or vehicle is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
Editor's note: On Monday, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office named the McDonald's victim as Jamie Marie Lawyer. News4Jax has learned Roque was in the process of getting a divorce from a man named Lawyer. She she identified herself as Roque online and to her friends, so News4Jax will continue to use that as her name.