Jacksonville Beach police respond to home burglary, find dying man

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – A 20-year-old man died after a shooting at a home on Penman Road early Monday morning.

A spokesperson for Jacksonville Beach Police said officers were dispatched to a home invasion near Penman Road North at 12th Avenue around 1:15 a.m. for a burglary in progress. When officers arrived, they found a man in the front yard with gunshot wounds.

The man, later identified as Ezekiel Archuleta of Jacksonville, died at the scene.

According to police, the 22-year-old resident of the home, Roman Steward Jr., was charged with armed possession of a controlled substance, possession not more than 20 grams of marijuana and use or possession with intent to use of drug paraphernalia after the homicide, but he was not charged with the shooting.

″I take that to believe that he is the one that did the shooting," News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said. “The homeowner has the right to protect himself and his property.”

Neighbors said they don’t know what happened but remember hearing several gunshots.

News4Jax learned that Archuleta was out on bond after an arrest last month after Jacksonville police said he was stopped on Heckscher Drive with marijuana, a gun and a child in his car. According to court records, the gun charge was dropped but the prosecution was continuing on the other charges.

Archuleta’s aunt was shocked to learn of his death. She said Archulata’s brother was walking with him when the person inside the home came out and started shooting.

“He was a good kid at his core, very much loved by his family," the aunt told News4Jax. "While he was a good kid, he had gone down a different path and he and his family were working to get him back on the right path. He just got a new job and is one of four siblings.”

Gavin Archuleta, the man’s older brother, said their younger brother was at the scene.

“He’s only 14 years old. he watched his brother die," Gavin Archuleta said. “There was no physical tussle, no break-in in the home. I really want justice, bad.”

Gain Archuleta said he’ll miss his brother’s sense of humor the most.

“Whenever I was down, man, he knew how to lift me up. He was my best friend,” he said. “He was a good guy. He was a good brother and a good uncle to my baby.”

The aunt sent a message to parents of a child that may have troubles: “If you sense your child is hurting or they need help, please, please, don’t give up.”

About the Authors: