JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A woman was arrested Sunday in connection with the shooting death of a teenager Saturday evening outside a Wawa convenience store on the city’s Westside, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said.
Shaetavia Cooper, 23, is charged with second-degree murder.
The shooting happened about 11:30 p.m. Saturday at the Wawa on Wilson Boulevard near Lane Avenue South.
Police said they found a teenage girl, who was identified by family members as 16-year-old Teneria McClendon, with a life-threatening gunshot wound. Police said she was taken to Orange Park Medical Center, where she died.
McClendon’s family said she and Cooper did not know each other, and the arrest report confirmed that.
The arrest report said McClendon and Cooper “became embroiled in a verbal argument concerning a perceived slight as they both stood in the convenience store’s checkout line. As the verbal argument escalated inside the convenience store, the victim spat in the direction of the suspect.”
The two went outside, and McClendon was shot in the neck, according to the arrest report.
Viral video shows the moments leading up to the shooting. In the video, commotion can be heard in the parking lot and then a single gunshot. Seconds after the shooting, another viral video shows a woman being placed into handcuffs by police.
Duval County jail records show Cooper was booked in just after noon Sunday. Cooper had her first appearance before a judge on Monday and was ordered held without bond. Her arraignment is set for Aug. 11.
News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson, a retired police officer with more than 20 years of experience, said arguments can escalate quickly. He encourages people caught in a similar scenario to walk from the aggressor as quickly as possible.
“For whatever reason, people feel empowered with guns, and guns are only going to cause problems when you used them the wrong way,” Jefferson said.
Jefferson said he believes there could be more arrests, and the video footage could be critical to the case.
“When you see these cellphone videos, you can hear it, as well as see, and it helps give credence to their investigation,” he said.
Family members said McClendon was quiet, smart, took advanced classes in school and had a bright future. Her grandmother told News4Jax that McClendon had dreams of being a pediatric nurse and had just applied for a job at Publix.
“This is a senseless death,” said Donna Ghent, McClendon’s great-aunt. “She was a baby.”
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help McClendon’s family.