It was an emotional night for family and friends in Riverside as they remembered Daniel Rowe, a young father shot and killed two years ago.
The deadly shooting happened outside the once popular restaurant Blind Rabbit.
Police said the 20-year-old was shot and killed while taking out the trash in July 2015. The man accused of killing Rowe is set to appear in court Monday. But Saturday night was about remembering the father gone too soon.
Family, friends and loved ones came together to recount their memories of Rowe.
“He has a baby girl that was 6 months old at the time that’s never going to know him, so the only thing we can do for her is to make sure she knows him through what we know,” said his mother, Raelyn Rowe.
He was a father of two little girls, a young man who his family said had a heart of gold. They gathered Saturday night at a place that his parents called a second home.
“We all at one point worked at Kickbacks together. Daniel and Raelyn and I all worked there together,” said his father, Steven Rowe.
Rowe was gunned down in what his parents called an act of senseless violence, something far too common in the city.
“We are actually finding out that we are one of the lucky ones if that makes any sense? I mean, we are already are in the court battle with one (suspect),” Raelyn Rowe said. “Granted, we are still in search of the second person that was with him, but there are many other cases out there that aren’t even close to that.”
News4Jax records show that 56 out of 96 murders were left unsolved in 2015. In 2016, 66 out of 107 were unresolved, and out of 58 so far this year, no arrests have been made in 41 of those cases.
Erron Coleman, the man charged with murdering Daniel Rowe, is behind bars, but Rowe’s parents are still looking for answers.
“We want to know why,” Steven Rowe said.
“That’s the one thing I can’t live without. I just need to know the story. I have to have it,” Raelyn Rowe said. “I’m never going to have closure and get past this without it.”
Daniel Rowe’s parents said there are so many families out there going through tragedies just like this because of the senseless violence. They stressed how thankful they are for resources, such as the Justice Coalition, which has been there since day one carrying them and many others through tragedy.
On Saturday, people gathered at a fundraiser for Project Cold Case, an organization that works to find answers in unsolved cases.
Raelyn Rowe applauded their efforts, saying, “It’s going to take a movement.”
“We are never going to get anywhere against the violence in the city if we don’t stand together,” she added.