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Jacksonville mom believes whoever killed son also shot her

Mom of slain 22-year-old: ‘I refuse to be the next mother who’s sitting around with an unsolved case’

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Bullet holes that riddle a Northwest Jacksonville home paint a stark picture of what the last few months have been like for the family of Tavarus Thomas Jr.

The 22-year-old was shot and killed earlier this month in Northwest Jacksonville. His mother, who asked to be referred to as Reci, is pleading for an arrest to be made in her son’s death.

She said she believes the person or people who killed her son also shot her.

The violence started in July, when Reci’s home was shot at multiple times. Reci said she was sitting outside and that she was hit four times.

Her 15-year-old daughter was sitting beside her and was grazed by a bullet. Her 8-year-old son said he was missed by only a few inches.

“My issue with that is we never got the help we asked for," Reci said.

She told News4Jax that she and her son gave Jacksonville police the names of the people they believe fired the shots.

Three months later, Thomas was murdered.

No arrests have been announced in either case.

“I refuse to be the next mother who’s sitting around with an unsolved case," Reci said.

As of Tuesday, there have been 132 homicides and 106 murders in Jacksonville during 2020, according to News4Jax records.

“Somebody has to do something because I’m not accepting anything otherwise, because every family deserves their answer. Every family deserves for their family to have their killer to be caught. Every family deserves that tiny bit of peace.”

Anyone with information can remain anonymous and could get up to a $3,000 reward by calling Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 1-866-845-TIPS.


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