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What led to the deadly shooting inside the Hyatt hotel? Arrest report gives new details

Jacksonville's Hyatt hotel
Jacksonville's Hyatt hotel

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The arrest report for one of the men connected to a double shooting in the bathroom of the Hyatt hotel in downtown Jacksonville on Saturday gives a better understanding of what led up to the deadly encounter.

According to victim statements given to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the murder of a 19-year-old who recently graduated from Ed White High School may have been a spontaneous act of violence by an intoxicated suspect.

The 19-year-old and the second shooting victim were at a birthday party at Morton’s The Steakhouse at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront on Saturday night along with the two suspects, Cory Hall and Paige Gallon, according to the report.

MORE | Suspect arrested, charged with murder in shooting at Jacksonville Hyatt

The unnamed survivor told police he and the 19-year-old were leaving the bathroom next to the restaurant as Hall and another man were entering.

Cory Hall mugshot from Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

He told police that Hall “appeared to be intoxicated, grabbed (the 19-year-old) around the neck and would not let him go. Without warning, the suspect retrieved a firearm from a pocket and shot (the 19-year-old) once in the head at very close range,” according to the report.

The surviving victim told police that Hall then shot him, but he was able to run out of the hotel onto the street, the report said.

The Sheriff’s Office also has surveillance video showing Hall and Gallon, who are cousins, getting into Gallon’s pickup truck and leaving after the shooting.

It’s unclear from the report if the four knew each other, but the report said the survivor “was able to identify the shooter as the suspect, Cory Hall.”

Hall, 29, was arrested Wednesday on charges of second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder. He was booked into the Duval County jail and ordered held on a $1.5 million bond. A spokesperson for Sheriff’s Office said Hall turned himself in.

Gallon, 26, was arrested Tuesday night on a charge of accessory after the fact, which is a first-degree felony. As of Thursday, he remained in jail on a $150,000 bond.

19-year-old killed in shooting at Jacksonville Hyatt remembered as ‘energetic kid on way to college’

The family identified the 19-year-old victim and shared his photo with News4Jax but asked not to identify him by name.

“He was a very energetic kid on his way to college,” family friend Mary Dennis said.

She said he was out celebrating his birthday.

“It’s just an unfortunate situation that happened, but he was just out. He wasn’t looking for any trouble like that,” Dennis said.

About the Authors:

Digital reporter who has lived in Jacksonville for more than 25 years and focuses on important local issues like education and the environment.