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Friends believe JTA bus driver killed because of sexual orientation

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Updated: 10/07/2013 8:02 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Police need your help solving a murder. Thomas "TJ" Kirby was found dead in the yard of an abandoned home in northwest Jacksonville Saturday morning.

"He was always smiling. Just a happy-go-lucky person," said Mikki Redding.

She choked back tears trying to understand what could have happened to her friend and co-worker. Kirby's body was discovered Saturday on McMillan Street in Northwest Jacksonville.

"There's nothing in this world the Kirby that I know could have done to cause anybody to do this to him," she said.

Redding and Kirby worked together for JTA. Action News has learned he was a bus driver there since May 30, 2008.

"I saw him on Thursday and i I was walking in and he stopped his car and he jumped out and he ran over and said 'mama!' And he gave me this big hug," she said.

Kirby's friends are convinced this is a case of cold-blooded murder and they are confident he knew his attacker. They think he was killed because of his sexual orientation.

"Knowing Jacksonville, probably," said a neighbor only wanting to be referred to as Donn. "That's a shame. I feel so bad for the parents more than anything having to lose their son."

Kirby's best friend Felix Garcia had a message for the person responsible.

"You're gonna get caught. And when you do let God pray on your soul cuz justice will be served for my friend," Garcia said.

Police are still trying to figure out if Kirby was killed there or if his body was dumped there. At this point they have not ruled this a hate crime.

Anyone with information in this case is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS. You will remain anonymous and could get a cash reward of up to $3,000 if your tip leads to an arrest.
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

NotAtWar - 10/8/2013 9:29 AM
0 Votes
Remember Prop 296? Maybe if the leaders of this city believed that everyone was equal the citizens would as well.

Justice - 10/8/2013 9:28 AM
1 Vote
Just last year our City Council claimed there was no need for including LGBT citizens in the Human Rights Ordinance--that the community's claims of discrimination were false. This murder is blood on the hands of the 10 City Council members who voted against the Human Rights Ordinance: Kimberly Daniels, Robin Lumb, Clay Yarborough, Don Redman, Matt Schellenberg, Ray Holt, Doyle Carter, Bill Gulliford, Reggie Brown and Johnny Gaffney. Mayor Alvin Brown gets extra shame for his behind-the-scene work to convince Mr. Gaffney to vote agains the bill at the last minute. Another embarrassment for Jacksonville. Condolences to the family of this innocent man.

HJERRICO - 10/7/2013 7:35 PM
2 Votes
Some people are just evil,cruel ,and Heartless !!! I feel so sad for him and his family . I hope who ever did this rots in hell for eternity !!!
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