36-year-old man charged with murder in shooting near San Marco park

A 36-year-old man was arrested and accused of murder after a shooting near a San Marco park Sunday morning, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Luis Eduardo Roces is being charged with second-degree murder in connection with the shooting that happened following an argument with another man on River Road.

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According to Roces’ arrest report, witnesses said they heard arguing outside their homes sometime after 1 a.m., and a woman said she saw 30-year-old Austin Fitzgerald arguing with a person, who would later be identified as Roces, outside her window.

Another witness said she met Fitzgerald at his house and they drove to Dart Bar on King Street to meet another friend. The woman said she received several text messages and calls from Roces, which she ignored.

As the night went on, she learned that Roces was searching the Riverside area for her, according to the police report.

She said that she and the group left the bar but got separated. Roces approached her as she was walking alone and he told her to get in his car, according to the police report.

She then got in the car, and he took her back to his house on River Road. She told investigators she texted Fitzgerald and asked him to pick her up from Roces’ house because she was afraid of him.

The police report said she went into a bathroom in the house and waited for Fitzgerald to pick her up, and Roces stayed in the bathroom with her.

The next thing she sees, according to the report, is Roces leaving the bathroom. Then he starts arguing with Fitzgerald once he arrived at the front door of the house.

The police report said she left through the front door while they were arguing and went to Fitzgerald’s car which was parked two doors down from Roces’ house.

As they were preparing to leave, Roces went over to the vehicle and another argument began as he and Fitzgerald were walking towards each other, the police report said.

Investigators said that at some point during that argument, a gun was pulled out and Fitzgerald was shot.

Officers said when they arrived at the scene, they found Fitzgerald and the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department took him to the hospital where he later died.

A witness told police Roces “appeared strangely calm” after the shooting, and stayed at the scene.

After interviewing several witnesses and reviewing all available evidence, JSO arrested Roces and charged him with the murder of Fitzgerald.

JSO is asking people with information to contact them by calling 904-630-0500, by email at jsocrimetips@jacksheriff.org, or Crimestoppers at 866-845-TIPS.

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