Nippers Beach Grille hosts donation event

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- Nippers Beach Grille hosted a donation event for the victim of Thursday night's fatal shooting. The owner of the restaurant says there's been tremendous support from customers and community members.

Related: Nippers shooting victim identified

Business ran as usual at Nippers Beach Grille Saturday, but with a few subtle reminders of a terrible tragedy that claimed the life of a father of three.

"I am paying them as off duty police officers for one reason and one reason only, I want my customers to feel 100 percent secure,said Theale. "There's a white elephant in the room."

A handful of JSO officers were visible throughout the day and evening at the restaurant, specifically to provide security during a donation event in support of the family of Zachariah Tipton, 40.

"A very isolated incident and we wanted to show our support," said Heather Schieferle-Preysz, a loyal customer who organized the donation event.

On Thursday night, police say a fight broke out between five or six men outside the restaurant, leading to Tipton's shooting death.

"He left behind a wife and three children and so the support for that, regardless of any of the circumstances, what if that was me?" said Schieferle-Preysz.

And it was her, seven and a half years ago.

Schieferle-Preysz says her husband died unexpectedly on a basketball court, leaving her alone with three small children. That's why she got on Facebook and started getting the word out about the donation event.

"When I knew that they were doing an event to try to raise money for someone who unexpectedly lost his life and has a family how could you not come out," Shelly Sanderson, a customer.

Owner Rudy Theale says he didn't know the victim or his family, but fully supports the event and his customers. He's helping any way he can. At the end of the night, a portion of the restaurant's proceeds will go to the victim's family.

"You never know when something like this happens in the vicinity of your business if it's going to be a total disaster and I think we've built a foundation here that people enjoy coming here and I'm very honored by it," said Theale.

Police are still investigating the shooting and have been questioning hundreds of people who were present that night. No charges have been filed as of yet.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment