Police: Gunman fires into crowd, kills man he knew

Zachary Jamison, 32, accused of fatally shooting Jovan Richo

By Maggie Lorenz - Multi-media journalist, Nick Jones - Digital producer, Steve Patrick - News4Jax digital managing editor

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. - A Jacksonville man died Thursday evening after a gunman drove up, got out of a car and fired into a group of people in Fernandina Beach.

Zachary Verdier Jamison, 32, fired four rounds into the crowd of people at the intersection of South 9th and Elm streets around 7:22 p.m., according to the Fernandina Beach police report.

Jovan Leonard Richo, 42, was the only person hit by the gunfire. He was flown from Baptist Nassau to UF Health Jacksonville in serious condition and died just before midnight, police said.

Family members told police that right before the shooting, a group of women started yelling at each other in the street with Richo somewhere nearby. 

Several witnesses reported seeing Jamison get out of a gray vehicle and point a black handgun at the crowd, who began to run. Doctors told police Richo was hit in the arm and the bullet traveled into his chest.

"When the guy came by shooting, (Richo) happened to be in the way," said the victim's uncle, Arizona Perkins. "(He) was pushing everybody else out the way and didn't know he was shot."

Investigators believe Jamison was retaliating for a dispute that happened earlier in the day. 

According to Perkins, Richo and Jamison grew up around each other.

"Fernandina's a very knitted community where everybody knows one another," Perkins said.

WATCH: Man shot, killed in Fernandina Beach was 'quiet, smiling guy,' uncle says

Jamison was located at his home, picked up by Nassau County Sheriff's Office deputies and transported back to Fernandina Beach for questioning. According to the report, he denied being at the scene, handling a gun or shooting anyone.

Jamison was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault. Jail records show he was booked into Nassau County Jail early Friday morning.

Jonell RichoThe last murder in Fernandina Beach was three years ago and the victim, 67-year-old Johnell Richo (pictured, right), is a distant relative of Thursday night's victim. Johnell Richo was shot and killed in front of his home less than a half-mile from where Jovan Richo was shot.

That murder remains unsolved.

Perkins takes some comfort in knowing the man accused in Thursday's murder is in custody but his nephew didn't deserve to die.

"He was a very quiet, smiling guy. He don't cause trouble," Perkins said. "We always talked about making changes in life, doing the right thing, but, nevertheless, that's just how things can be."

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