Jacksonville Daily Progress
Right up to the night he was murdered in the club that bears his name, Stacy Dewayne Hunter was trying to help troubled youngsters, his sister said.
Veronica Hunter said her brother was even trying to counsel and comfort his accused killer, Jimmy Deshawn Mosley, hours before Mosley allegedly shot him to death during a robbery.
“He was trying to talk to the kid, to help him,” she said. “The kid had gotten in a fight with two other guys and my brother broke it up. He talked to him for 30 minutes, trying to keep him level-headed about the whole thing.”
Jacksonville Police Det. Sgt. Daniel Franklin said he was aware of Mosley’s altercations but knew nothing of Hunter trying to help the younger man.
“As far as him counseling, we don’t have any knowledge. But we do know he (Mosley) was involved in the altercation with two different people earlier in the evening,” the detective sergeant said,
Early Saturday morning, Hunter, a certified code enforcement officer, was fatally shot multiple times at “Stacy’s” on North Jackson Street.
Mosley, 24, turned himself into police in connection with the crime hours later.
He was arrested and charged with capital murder, which is punishable by death or life in prison, depending on which punishment the District Attorney intends to pursue. Mosley remained in custody Tuesday in lieu of $250,000 bail.
Hunter, 43, is a beloved local figure. The outpouring of grief in reaction to his death has been widespread.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to his wife and family as they must now grapple with the sorrow caused by this senseless tragedy,” City Manager Mo Raissi said in an issued statement. “The hole that Stacy’s death now leaves in Jacksonville will be difficult to fill.”
Hunter didn’t make a lot of money, but he put his heart and soul helping local children – no matter how troubled they were, his sister said.
“He always helped the less-fortunate kids in the community,” Veronica Hunter said. “I have a 20-year-old son who looked at him like he was his Daddy.”
Viewing of Hunter’s body, meanwhile, is expected to take place most of the day Thursday at Community Funeral Home of Jacksonville, 431 North Main Street. Those interested in specific times can contact the home at 903-284-6203.
The funeral itself will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Central Baptist Church, 1909 East Rusk Street – which seats 700 people, although more can be fit inside if the crowds are larger than expected. Those with questions about seating can call the church at 903-586-2215, officials said.
As for his work with the city, Hunter had been an important member of the code enforcement team for nearly two decades. He worked for many years as a truck driver for the sanitation department, then later as the City’s recreation superintendent and most recently as a code enforcement officer, the city manager said.
“He was also highly involved in many community activities, including coaching youth athletics,” Raissi said.
According to Mosley’s driver's license, the defendant lives in a shoebox home off Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard just down the road from Zion Hill Baptist Church. A reporter who went by on Tuesday to see if there were family members saw no cars parked there but overheard a television inside – although no one came to the door to answer knocks.
It appears Mosley was distantly related to the victim, but the Hunters by no means considered him a “relative,” Veronica Hunter said.
“We weren’t family like that,” Veronica Hunter said. “I know my brother had problems with him in the past and talked to the police about it.”
It was unclear when Mosley would get an attorney, although it was believed he had not done so as of Tuesday.
Veronica Hunter said she remains at a loss as to the reason for all the chaos in the area where Stacy Hunter died.
“I never liked my brother working there because of the violence,” she said. “He would tell me, ‘I'm about to stop, I need to stop’ but he would still need to make ends meet charging that entry fee. He would tell me, ‘I can’t take it anymore.’ He wanted to shut the door for good so something like that wouldn't happen. It became a struggle up there.”