Group walks neighborhood, searches for leads in veteran's murder

Gary Tripp Sr., 69, found dead in Jacksonville home near Ribault River

By Ashley Spicer - Reporter, anchor, Roxy Tyler - Web producer, Colette DuChanois - Web producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - An anti-violence group led a community walk Saturday in the Lake Forest Hills neighborhood of Jacksonville's Northside, where a Vietnam veteran was found dead inside his home earlier this year. 

In April, Gary Tripp Sr., 69, was shot in the back of the head in his home on Merivale Road, near the Ribault River, according to family members.They said there were no signs of forced entry into his home and so far police have no suspects in the case.

At 11 a.m. Saturday, Men Against Destruction Defending Against Drugs and Social Disorder (MAD DADS) walked and talked to people of the Lake Forest Hills neighborhood, searching for clues as to who shot and killed the disabled Vietnam veteran. 

One of the dozens of people walking and knocking on doors today was the victim's son. Gary Tripp Jr. wants to keep his dad's story alive in hopes of finding his killer. He had a message for whoever did it.

"You didn't have to do my daddy like that. He deserved better than that. But we are going to find you. We are going to find you and get you off the streets and put you where you belong," said Tripp Jr.

He said there were no red flags before the shooting that anything was wrong.

"It's painful. Frustrating. But I know the JSO is doing everything they can," Tripp Jr. said.

Police did not release any suspect information, and no arrests have been announced. That's why MAD DADS is asking the community to "break the code of silence" by offering any information about Tripp's death.

"Here's a man that served our county and then was brutally murdered this way, but the saddest part is that the community and no one is stepping up to tell what they know, and we know someone saw something!" said Donald Foy, with MAD DADS.

Jacksonville police officers were also out in the neighborhood Saturday while family and friends of the victim walked and knocked on doors, searching for answers to solve the case.

To submit a tip anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

Family photo of Vietnam veteran Gary Tripp Sr.

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