A 36-year-old man, Luis Eduardo Roces, has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder following a shooting near a San Marco park in Jacksonville. The incident occurred after an argument between Roces and 30-year-old Austin Fitzgerald on River Road. Witnesses reported hearing the argument outside their homes around 1 a.m. Roces, allegedly involved in the dispute, was later identified by witnesses.
According to Roces’ arrest report, Fitzgerald and a woman left Dart Bar on King Street to meet a friend. The woman received multiple texts and calls from Roces, which she ignored. Roces reportedly searched the Riverside area for her. The group left the bar, and Roces approached the woman, instructing her to get into his car, which she did. Roces then took her to his family’s house on River Road.
Feeling unsafe, the woman texted Fitzgerald to pick her up. While at Roces’ house, she entered a bathroom to wait for Fitzgerald. Roces allegedly stayed in the bathroom with her. When Fitzgerald arrived at the front door, an argument ensued between Roces and Fitzgerald. The woman left through the front door and went to Fitzgerald’s car parked nearby.
Another argument erupted between Roces and Fitzgerald, leading to a gun being pulled out and Fitzgerald being shot. Police arrived at the scene, found Fitzgerald, and transported him to the hospital, where he later died. A witness noted that Roces appeared calm after the shooting. Investigators recovered a .38 caliber revolver at the scene.
The circumstances surrounding the shooting are redacted in the report, potentially raising the possibility of a self-defense or Castle doctrine claim by Roces. The investigation is ongoing, and detectives will collaborate with the State Attorney’s Office to determine whether charges will be filed. Roces is being held without bond at the Duval County jail. JSO encourages anyone with information to contact them through various channels, including phone, email, or Crimestoppers.