STUART — Carrell Gallon remembered his grandmother, Mattie Jones, as a woman who loved the church, and was caring and disciplined.
A widow, Jones, 74, did not let anyone in her kitchen when she was there, Gallon said. He recalled running to grab a bit of food or lick the spoon.
“And then I hurry up and get up out of there before she’d catch me,” Gallon said.
Gallon, 28, spoke Tuesday outside the home at Southeast Spruce Avenue and Southeast 10th Street where Stuart police said Jones on Nov. 24 — Thanksgiving Day — was fatally shot, and a couple in a vehicle outside also got struck by gunfire.
“She always held a great conversation,” Gallon said. “We can talk about anything.”
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Lt. Michael Gerwan, Stuart police spokesperson, said Jones was not the intended target, describing her as “an innocent person sitting in her living room.”
Gerwan said it’s possible those in the vehicle were targeted. He said a boyfriend and girlfriend were in the vehicle.
Gerwan said detectives have identified one person and said it’s possible others were involved, though many aspects of the case he could not talk about.
Asked if he thought there was more than one shooter, Gerwan said, “I know they have one suspect that they’re looking at, and there’s possible other suspects that may be involved.”
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Gallon said Jones was retired and had worked in a kitchen at an assisted living facility in the area for a number of years. He regularly visited her just in case she needed help.
Gallon pulled back a curtain to show what he said was a bullet hole in the window. He pointed out where he said Jones sat in a lounge chair eating a Thanksgiving meal watching TV with her son next to her when the incident occurred.
The single-story home where the shooting happened is just down the street from the 10th Street Community Center.
Gallon learned of her passing from a phone call from a relative. He knew of the people in the vehicle out front but said they weren’t his relatives.
Neighbor Patricia Holloway, 72, said she and Jones were the best of friends, and that she used to take Jones to the bank and supermarket.
“She was a very religious woman. We used to sit in my car and talk about Jesus,” Holloway said. “I loved the woman, and I just can’t believe what happened to her.”
Holloway said she knew Jones for about 12 years, and said Jones attended church in Fort Pierce. She has several children, along with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Holloway also said Jones watched the television soap opera General Hospital every day.
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Holloway’s husband of 28 years, Gregory Holloway, 63, said Jones was a “church woman. She loved God first.”
He said his wife and Jones were inseparable.
“I hope they get everybody who done this mess on Thanksgiving,” Gregory Holloway said.
He said they’d just returnedt home from being out of town for Thanksgiving dinner when the incident occurred.
He estimated 30 to 40 shots were fired.
“It sounded like firecrackers,” he said. “But it wasn’t firecrackers.”