Slain woman's family wants more officers

Family, friends of Amber Bass gather at City Hall 11 months after her killing

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It's been 11 months since 22-year-old Amber Bass was killed in her Westside driveway.

She went home after a night out with friends at Mercury Moon Bar and was shot to death.

Her family has pleaded for answers ever since and waited for an arrest, but detectives still haven't been able to make one.

On Thursday, her family stood outside City Hall asking for Jacksonville leaders to focus on pension reform and getting more police officers back on the street to help crack down on violent crime.

Each day, Robin Lezcano relives what happened the day her sister was killed. She heard a scream at 2:37 a.m. July 19, walked out to her driveway with a baseball bat and saw her sister lying in a pool of blood.

"I just remember my heart pounding in my ears," Lezcano said. "I remember finding her and just the panic that took over. I remember how empty I felt when they took her away in the ambulance. I remember the noises she was making and how she was struggling, and I want to believe that it was quick and it was painless, but part of me just can't seem to get past that."

For 11 months, family and friends of Bass have stood on street corners near her Springtree Road home or at Mercury Moon Bar. On Thursday, adorned in Bass' earrings, T-shirts and angel wings and armed with signs, they were outside City Hall begging the community for answers and encouraging others to fight for the city to put more police back on patrol.

"I just see signs for (EverBank Field) and a pool and things like that when I want more officers on the street preventing murders, because somebody's next," said Susan Singer, Bass' family friend.

That somebody's family will be forced to endure the same agonizing pain Bass' family and friends feel that never goes away.

"I have a 4-year-old, and she looks like her and she sounds like her," Lezcano said. "She helps me remember those great times that I had with Amber and how much I love her and how I have to keep fighting for her."

"She's not a number to me," Lezcano added. "She's a light that can't be snuffed out by crime and someone's gun. I'm not going to let that happen."

Bass' family is so grateful to hear about the recent arrests for the men charged with killing cab driver Stuart Carson and nightclub patron Brandon Green. Lezcano is hoping to remember July 19, 2014, or sooner, as the day her sister's killer joined them in jail.

"To have someone ripped from you who you've spent 22 years with, it's unimaginable," Lezcano said. "And if i can get that person off the street and save another 22-year-old or someone even younger, it would just give me so much happiness and make me feel like my purpose on this Earth was valuable."

Pete and Susan Singer, who were like second parents to Bass, said detectives tell them they are working active leads but are really relying on the community to come forward with information.

Anyone with information about Bass' killing is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.

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