Amanda DeVoe shares a heartbreaking loss for her family, the shooting death of her cousin

You watch Amanda DeVoe on The Morning Show on Channel 4, as she makes sure you get to work safely on Jacksonville’s roadways. But, Amanda also has a heartbreaking story to share.

“My cousin had a bright future and was just a month away from graduating Valdosta State University when someone took his life,” she said.

Amanda’s cousins, John and Rose DeVoe, expressed grieving the loss of their son, while also calling for justice.

“As a mother, there is no greater pain than to lose a child,” Gabriel’s mother Rose DeVoe said. “Since my son’s death, I’ve died a thousand times.”

He was a son, brother, friend — with his entire future ahead of him.

“Gabriel loved us. He loved his family. He loved his friends. He loved his church, and he loved life,” his mother said.

He was shot five times at an apartment complex on Justina Road in the Arlington neighborhood in November of last year. Gabriel was just 23-years-old. The feeling of pain still plagues his parents more than a year later, with still no arrests.

“It plagues me every day knowing that they shot my son and left him on the curb to die,” Rose said.

His mother said he was her miracle baby, with doctors originally telling her they couldn’t hear a heartbeat. Doctors performed a medical procedure to terminate the pregnancy.

Then, Rose said the unexpected happened.

“Upon further examination, there was leaping and tumbling, he was alive. He was alive, God spared his life in utero,” Rose explained. “And that person had no right to execute a death sentence over our son. It was not his right.”

Gabriel’s father, John, has been a pastor for more than 20 years.

“I know the church is watching me. The church is looking for strength in me that I can continue to strengthen them. It becomes very painful to try and hold myself up to inspire others when I know myself needs to be inspired, because I am broken as well. I am hurting as well.”

Gabriel was the youngest child of Rose and John’s three children, their only son.

“The DeVoe legacy is not able to continue through this lineage. You look for your children to bury you, and not you bury your children,” John said.

There’s also the constant reminder of Gabriel being shot less than three miles away from the home where he was raised. His room now serves as a memorial, his high school football jersey from Paxon, framed as well as his posthumous business degree from VSU.

As John and Rose continue to grieve, they are asking for anyone who knows something to come forward.

“If there was someone, who resided in that complex, or who resides there now, who heard something, or knows something, or saw something that could bring my son’s murderer to justice, we plead with them. We are pleading with you. My family and I are pleading with you. The stain of Gabriel’s death will never go away, but I believe justice will certainly ease it some,” Rose said.

The DeVoe family is expected to have a news conference on Wednesday with the Justice Coalition. News4JAX will be there.

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