JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - UPDATE 29 JUN 2014: Saturday's benefit brought in thousands of dollars for Zachariah Tipton's wife and children. The Nippers owner is giving half of the profits to the family, and plans to match that amount as a personal donation. The owner also says business has skyrocketed, and Sunday's brunch was packed full of customers.
This is 40-year-old Zachariah Tipton, the man police say was shot and killed right outside Nippers.
Police say someone shot him after a fight.
Two days later, a customer of Nippers Beach Grille had the idea of holding a benefit for Tipton's wife and three kids he left behind.
"It was important to people to support a woman and her three
children. They have so much grief ahead of them, the last thing they
need to be doing is worrying about funeral expenses," said Heather Schoefelle-Preysz.
The owner of the restaurant was on board.
"I don't know the gentleman or any of the people involved in this
but what I do know is when there's a wife and children involved and we
can so something to help, we'll do that," said owner Rudy Theale.
As the benefit started, Action News saw the parking lot become packed. Handfuls of people came to the restaurant to support the cause.
"Well we think it's important because they went through a lot and
we're here with our parents to support their family," said Braden Robinson.
Another supporter? A current biker.
"I walked into Nippers to support the family, went through and
walked to the back the owner confronted me. I was in a vest like I am now, and he came up and asked me to remove my vest," said Kevin Stuart.
Stuart says he removed it, but asked the owner why.
"He told me a lot of people there are sensitive about what happened and that he would prefer me to remove it," said Stuart.
Police say it was bike night at Nippers during the time Tipton was killed.
The owner says he hired extra, off-duty officers for the event to make his guests feel safe Saturday.
If you would like to donate to the family, there is a Zach Tipton memorial fund set up at Vystar Credit Union.