Sanford Shocked By Murder
Posted July 15, 1998
SANFORD — A Sanford man was shot and killed in an apparent robbery at a family-owned business Wednesday night. Thursday, his family, friends and co-workers made a high-stakes offer for justice.
There had not been a homicide in the city of Sanford for more than two-years. Now, there have been three in the past 30 days. The latest happened Wednesday night, when James Kelly Jackson was shot and killed. It was his 27th birthday.
Flags are flying at half-staff at J.T. Davenport in memory of James Kelly Jackson. Jackson was working for the wholesale distributor when he was shot and killed shortly before 11:30 p.m..
Jackson was unhooking a trailer at the warehouse, when police say he was robbed by two suspects. He was apparently trying to get away from them, when they shot him in the back. His body was found about 50 feet away.
Police say the contents of Jackson's wallet were found scattered on the ground. They say some girls walking by witnessed the shooting and have been helping detectives in their investigation.
At J.T. Davenport, a family-owned business in Sanford for the past 80 years, word of Jackson's murder spread quickly. John Charles Smith, a former employee, was a good friend.
"I went by the bank and the lady at the teller at the bank told me about it," Smith said. "I didn't think it was true, so I came by here to find out. I can't believe it."
Company officials say Jackson had been a loyal employee for 8 years. He started out working in the warehouse, and recently received a promotion. He was hoping to one day be a driver.
"James has been an employee here since 1990," J.T. Davenport Owner Toni Davenport Bost said. "Very well-liked and will be missed terribly by all his co-workers. It's just an awful thing."
J.T. Davenport is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the people responsible for the shooting.
Anyone with information information, you should call Sanford Police at775-8268. Police say they are following up on several leads.