Man fatally shot at Jacksonville business was to soon officiate daughter’s wedding

JSO released surveillance photos in hopes of identifying potential suspect

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Philip Hetzner was already planning what to say as the officiant of his daughter’s wedding in August.

His only child, Madison, says she and her father were best friends.

“We bought him a leather-bound book, and apparently he had been talking to all of his friends like ‘what should I say?’ getting all excited about writing it,” Hetzner’s daughter said.

Photo of Philip Hetzner shared by family. (

Those plans were cut short on Dec. 4, when her father was found shot to death at Keystone Terminals, a business in the Tallyrand neighborhood. Investigators said the 67-year-old was found with an open wallet in his hand.

Last week, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office released photos that included a silver Honda, asking for help identifying a potential suspect in the shooting.

RELATED: Jacksonville police seek help identifying potential suspect in murder investigation

Photo from Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. (

“The pictured individual, seen driving the Honda, visited multiple businesses and attempted to use the deceased victim’s credit card,” JSO wrote on Twitter.

Police said he was captured on surveillance footage at businesses along Beach Boulevard, just west of I-295, not even a half an hour after the shooting.

“It’s just completely unnecessary and it’s wrong and it’s not like my dad was a threatening man and, to be honest, he probably would have given him his wallet,” Madison Hetzner said.

Her father was the director of finance for the private port. Generous, kind, inquisitive, adventurous and “genuinely brilliant” — all words she used to describe her father.

She said he was at work on his day off.

“That’s what he was doing, just painting the side of a building because he wanted it to look nice,” Madison Hetzner said. “He really took pride in his work. He wanted the port to look as beautiful as possible.”

“I just wanna know, why? Just, why?” she added. “I just don’t understand. And the fact that when you killed my dad — you killed a best friend, you killed a father, you killed a brother.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500 or email To remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward of up to $3,000 contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

About the Author:

Renee Beninate is a Florida native and award-winning reporter who joined the News4Jax team in June 2021.