Well-known neighbor with 'a heart of gold shot' shot, killed in home invasion

Family identifies homeowner as 54-year-old Rodney Reid

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A homeowner beloved by his neighbors was shot and killed Friday afternoon during a home invasion in a Northside community, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said.

Police said they responded about 3:45 p.m. to a home on Grand Street, just off Lem Turner Road, and found the homeowner had been shot at least once. The man, identified by family as 54-year-old Rodney Reid, died at the scene. 

"I just know him being a loving son and he was a lovable person," said Lottie Linder, Reid's mother. "Almost everybody loved Rodney."

WATCH: Family identifies man killed in home invasion

A homicide detective said someone in the area had called 911. A neighbor and close friend of Reid, who asked not to be identified, told News4Jax that a woman who also lived nearby had run to his home, begging to use the phone to call 911. He said the woman kept yelling, "'Rodney getting robbed. Rodney getting robbed.'"

The neighbor said he and the woman then ran over to Reid's house to try to help before paramedics arrived, but it was too late. 

"I went in there. He wasn't moving," the neighbor said. "I said, 'Hold on Rodney.' He took his last breath and that was it."

The neighbor described Reid as a "very good person."

"He didn't bother anyone and was just as friendly as can be," he said.

Others who live in the older Northside community said Reid was a well-known neighbor. 

"He had a heart of gold. He was a wonderful person," said another friend and neighbor of Reid, who also wished to remain anonymous. "It's sad. I don't care how they look at it. It's sad because I feel like it didn't have to be this way."

Although police said they had no suspect description, several neighbors, including family members,  said that two men were seen jumping into what appeared to be a Nissan Maxima and taking off at a high rate of speed right after the shooting happened. Police have not confirmed that information.

Linder, who was among Reid's family members who showed up at the crime scene just before nightfall, said whoever is responsible for her son's death will not go unpunished.

"I know God will take care of the ones who think they can take a life that they cannot give," she said. "But God will take care of them."

Police said it was too early to say whether there were signs of forced entry or how many shots were fired. It's also unclear if it was a random act of violence or if the homeowner was specifically targeted. Detectives were working to interview witnesses and gather evidence.

The deadly home invasion puts a spotlight on the crime in and around the Northside community. According to a JSO crime map, within the last four weeks, there have been five home burglaries, two armed robberies, a carjacking, an arson, six batteries, an aggravated assault, five auto burglaries and multiple thefts reported within a half-mile radius of Reid's Grand Street home.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS (8477).

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