PALMETTO, Fla. (WWSB) - There was a press conference on Friday morning at the Palmetto Police Department to discuss an unsolved murder case that is a little over five years old.
On March 22, 2014, around 2:45 a.m. then 26-year old Javare Thomas was shot and killed while riding as a passenger in a car in Palmetto. Thomas would have been 31-years-old this year.
Thomas was at a nightclub in Palmetto in the early hours of a Sunday morning and the club had just closed for the night. He was traveling in a vehicle with two friends at the intersection of Haben Boulevard and U.S. 41 near the Manatee Civic Center.
The other two people in the vehicle and other independent witnesses told police that a dark colored pick-up truck pulled up next to them and began firing shots into the vehicle.
One of those shots hit Thomas in the back of the head. His friends immediately drove him to Manatee Memorial Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
The other two people in the vehicle were unharmed. After thorough investigations, police believe that this was a case of mistaken identification of the car that Thomas was riding in.
Police say that they believe that there was an altercation outside of the nightclub as it was closing for the night and that some of the people involved wanted to continue to fight as people were leaving. They say that as vehicles were leaving the black pick-up truck followed the vehicle Thomas was in and while approaching the intersection shots were fired into the wrong vehicle.
Police described Thomas and his friends as innocent bystanders who they do not believe were the intentional targets. During the press conference, police did say that although no one is in custody, they do have a person of interest involving this case.
This case remains to be an active investigation that police are confident that will be solved soon, but they are asking the public to come forward in any way possible to help bring suspect or suspects to justice.
Thomas’s mother was at the press conference and gave a statement to everyone in attendance. “I just want to say as a mother, this will never go away, ever. My family suffered very much, but not only my family, but the community, his friends. Javare was well known as a loving person and we will keep our hearts as a family, as a whole to uplift his standards."
She also described her son as one of the greatest young football coaches that was well known by many NFL players.
Due to this being an active investigation, police did not answer any questions about further details on this case.