JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 54-year-old mother and grandmother was killed inside her Westside home late Wednesday night, three days after that same home was hit by gunfire.
Shirley Blakely's loved ones said the person who they believe killed her, a neighbor, is behind bars. That person was booked into the Duval County jail on a charge of criminal mischief, according to online jail records. A Jacksonville Sheriff's Office spokeswoman told News4Jax late Thursday afternoon that no one was in custody in the case.
Michael Blakely, her husband of 20 years, was at work when she was killed. They had talked a couple of hours earlier about going out to breakfast when he got off, which they did every Thursday.
“One minute you go to work, see your wife, kiss her goodbye and...” Michael Blakely said.
He said Shirley Blakely leaves behind a son and daughter, four grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
"My mother was a great, outstanding mother. I can’t fathom how something like this could happen," Blakely's daughter, Latoya Daniels, said. "I am still in shock. Reality hasn’t sunk in. I am still in denial."
Daniels said her mother was a Christian woman who did not have any enemies.
"Our last conversation was trusting and believing in God," Daniels said. "And this happens hours later."
News4Jax was told Shirley Blakely was on the phone talking with a relative when someone broke into the house and killed her just before midnight.
"She was on the phone with my cousin and she heard her screaming," the victim's granddaughter, Mikesha Taylor, said.
Plywood still covers a window broken when shots were fired into the home on Beaverbrook Place, off McDuff Avenue, on Sunday. Blakely's loved ones don’t know why the family's home would be targeted.
A homicide detective said that officers found Shirley Blakely with multiple injuries to her body. They would not say if she had been shot, but the victim's granddaughter said the police were called because they heard gunshots.
"She was there for me, no matter what. She was the run-to person. I could call (her) at any given moment," Daniels said. "My mom stayed to herself. She was a homebody, kept to herself."
Neighbors had similar descriptions of Shirley Blakely, saying she would pray with family members and neighbors.
"My heart reaches out to them. I'm sorry for their loss," Richard Jones said. "What’s on my mind now is, who did it? Is the person that did, is he still on the loose? I never heard of any problem with the people down there."
The Blakely family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with funeral expenses.