Jacksonville, Florida

From Jacksonville.com of August 21, 2007

17-year-old homicide suspect killed

Police say the shooting in a Westside apartment might have been in self defense.

Before Reco Melvin turned up dead, police were looking for him.

The 17-year-old Eureka Garden apartments resident was a suspect in a homicide at the complex on Jacksonville’s Westside several weeks earlier, authorities told the Times-Union.

Investigators suspect Melvin killed his neighbor Herbert Porter in a May 13 shooting while trying to rob the 36-year-old man of money he made selling sodas and other sweets to residents at the complex.

But police said that before they could question Melvin, he died in a July 24 shooting at Eureka Garden they’re investigating as a justifiable homicide. The incidents don’t appear linked.

Sgt. Dan Janson said Monday that police believe Melvin tried to rob a man who came to the complex to buy drugs that July morning. During the encounter, Melvin pulled a gun, but the man defended himself by drawing his own weapon and firing, Janson said.

Melvin’s uncle Ray Nolan said on the day of his nephew’s death that he heard reports of a green sport utility vehicle pulling into the complex before shooting started. He said he heard his nephew was the only one of a group of 10 or 12 people who didn’t run away when a gunman approached.

The slaying happened a few buildings away from the apartment where the teenager lived with his mother and sisters in a spot where a memorial of candles and silk flowers still stands. Porter’s homicide happened in his apartment, which is within eyesight of the Melvin family’s front door.

Assistant State Attorney John Guy said Monday that Melvin’s homicide case wasn’t closed yet and that a finding of justifiable homicide was a possibility. He wouldn’t comment further, and authorities wouldn’t name the man they believe shot Melvin.

(More)

From the News4Jax.com of August 21, 2007

Officers: Teen Shot, Killed Was Robbing Man

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office released new information on Tuesday about one of the four shootings that took place in a 24-hour period and left four teens dead in July.

Officers said the Westside shooting claimed the life of 17-year-old Rico Melvin.

Jacksonville police said the victim was shot and killed while committing a crime.

The fatal shooting happened at the Eureka Garden apartments on Labelle Street, where police said the teen was killed while trying to rob a man who came to the complex to buy drugs. During that encounter, Melvin pulled a gun and the man defended himself by drawing his own weapon and firing, according to police.

Authorities said Melvin was also a person of interest in a slaying that took place at the same apartment complex in May.

The investigation into the fatal shooting is still ongoing.

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