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Witnesses: Riverside shooting victim killed after trying to stop fight

Rodney Braziel, Jr., is charged with second-degree murder in Justin Hendrix’s death

Rodney Braziel & Blake Hendrix
Rodney Braziel & Blake Hendrix

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Nassau County man killed on the heels of a brawl in Riverside last month tried to break up the fight before he was shot, witnesses told homicide detectives.

Witnesses said the fight was over and Justin Hendrix was unarmed when the shooter got out of his car, went over to Hendrix and shot him once in the back of the head.

Hendrix, 23, collapsed and died at the scene.

Those details emerged Monday when the State Attorney’s Office released the arrest warrant for Rodney Braziel, Jr., who is charged with second-degree murder and discharging a firearm in public.

According to the warrant, the incident began with a fight involving Hendrix’s friend that broke out on Kings Street in the early morning hours of Feb. 16. Once it ended, everyone piled into their cars to leave.

For some reason, one of the drivers stopped and got out of his car. Witnesses said the driver approached Hendrix and shot him, then hopped back into the car and drove away.

After reviewing surveillance footage, police found it backed up witnesses’ statements.

Multiple witnesses later came forward, saying Braziel gave them a handgun and told them to report it stolen, the warrant stated. Instead, the gun was handed over to police.

Lab testing by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement found the gun matched a shell casing located near Hendrix’s body, according to the warrant.

Braziel, who was arrested at home Feb. 21, is being held without bond at the Duval County jail. He has been ordered to have no contact with any victims, witnesses or co-defendants involved in the case.

Court records show his arraignment hearing is set for March 16.

About the Author:

A Florida transplant with Midwest roots, Garrett Pelican is the digital executive producer for News4Jax.