JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The parents of a Jacksonville teenager killed hours after his high school graduation this spring are asking the community for help finding his killer. They announced that a $13,000 reward is now available for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in Rashaud Fields’ murder.
Fields’ parents and lawyers held a news conference Wednesday morning to announce the increased reward. Attorney John Phillips, who represents the family, said he called the news conference because school has started back up in Duval County, and he anticipates more people may be talking about what they know about Fields’ murder.
Fields’ family is desperate for answers.
His grieving mother, father and extended family gathered Wednesday morning at Phillips’ downtown office as the attorney announced his law firm is offering $10,000 on top of the $3,000 CrimeStoppers reward.
A billboard still stands to honor Fields at the intersection of Carnation Road and Edgewood Avenue, less than half a mile from where he was a star football player at Raines High School.
Fields was shot and killed on May 23, just a few hours after graduating from Raines High.
Sources tell News4JAX that the 18-year-old was at a graduation party on Pine Estates Road in the Highlands neighborhood when he was shot. He died later at a hospital.
Fields’ mother said the grief of losing her son is something her family struggles with every day. They celebrated the milestone of his graduation in the early afternoon, and by night, they were mourning his murder.
“That was the last time I saw my child, after he walked, after he walked across the stage at 7 o’clock. To see him walk across that stage with people yelling, and then to get a phone call that your son is dead, that’s heartbreaking,” Yvonne Fields said. “Someone snatched his life. They literally snatched his life.”
Rashaud Fields was set to attend Keiser University in Fort Lauderdale on a full scholarship to play football, committing to the school a few weeks before his death.
The family’s attorney says the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is processing forensic evidence found at the scene and said JSO is hot on the trail of the killer, but they still need more information to make an arrest.
“This is not just a loss to the Fields family, this is a killer out on the streets. This is a killer JSO has indicated may not even have intended to kill Rashaud Fields, and so this is a killer that is going to potentially kill again,” Phillips said. “We wanted to take this opportunity to say with school starting back, people are going to be talking, there is going to be more information.”
Anyone with information about the teen’s murder is asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500, CrimeStoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS or Phillips & Hunt, the family’s civil lawyers, at 904-444-4444.