Man killed in double shooting leaves behind 2 sons, 6 grandchildren

Garvin Owensby Jr., 42, remembered as gentle giant with calm spirit

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man who was killed in a double shooting Sunday morning on Jacksonville's Westside leaves behind two sons and six grandchildren, loved ones said. 

Garvin Owensby Jr., 42, and his girlfriend were shot about 8:40 a.m. at the corner of West 1st Street and Line Street. Police said the man died and his girlfriend was taken to a hospital in life-threatening condition. 

Police have not yet released his name, but News4Jax spoke by phone with Barbara Phillips, the mother of his two sons. She said Owensby, who was affectionately called J.R., was a good father who didn't deserve to die this way.

"Two sons are without their father and six grandchildren are without their grandfather," Phillips said Monday. "It's just a bad, bad thing."

Phillips said she got the heartbreaking news of Owensby's death from his sister.


"She told me to sit down and she told me that J.R. had passed away," Phillips said. "(She said) that his girlfriend had been shot also."

At last check, his girlfriend was in serious condition. 

Phillips said Owensby was a tattoo artist for decades and a talented drawer -- a gift that was passed on to his sons. 

"I had to tell my sons that, you know, your father is gone," she said. "That was really hard."

Phillips described Owensby as a gentle giant with a calm spirit. 

"Someone took his life," she said. "They affected so many people."

The bodies of Owensby and three other victims will be examined at the medical examiner's office after a weekend spree of deadly violence in Jacksonville. Those examinations will begin Tuesday morning. 

No arrests have been made in Sunday's double shooting. Anyone with information is asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477).

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