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Avondale business owner knew victim, reacts to shooting

10:25 PM, Jul 8, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Business owners along St. Johns Avenue are mourning the loss of a friend. 

Several restaurants in Avondale are clients of Ed Lumley's Exhaust Cleaning Service and knew the victim who was shot and killed while cleaning restaurant equipment at Mojo No. 4 BBQ. 

The victim's employer has identified him as Robert Sutton, an employee of the company for five years.

"I was very sad because he was coming here next. He was supposed to be here next after he was finished Mojo's," said Linda Spofford, the co-owner of West Inn Cantina, a bar and package store on St. Johns Avenue. 

Every three months for the past five years Robert Sutton has cleaned the exhaust hood in her business' kitchen, according to Spofford. 

"Everybody in the shopping center knew him. He was just a nice friendly guy, always had a smile on his face, always very personable," said Spofford.

Sutton was scheduled to clean Mojo Barbecue at midnight. He and his coworker, Tyler Lumley were almost done cleaning up when Lumley said someone tried to rob his partner.

"I was sitting there just doing my job and next thing I know I hear some guy telling my partner to give him all his money," said Lumley.

Lumley was able to stay hidden from the suspect but heard the gunshot. 

Sutton was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The owner of the cleaning business Ed Lumley says the two men were supposed to finish up around 3:30 am, go home to rest, and come back at 10 a.m. to clean West Inn Cantina down the street. 

Many restaurants in Avondale use Lumley's service. 

"I mean we all do it because when you have a restaurant that's about the only time that you can do it, so it's during the middle of the night because the restaurant isn't open," said Spofford. 

Lumley said Sutton was a model employee. He was the one who had to break the news to Sutton's wife this morning.

"He will definitely be missed," said Ed Lumley.

First Coast News

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