New Smyrna Beach cops: Man charged with murder in gunshot slaying in Westside

New Smyrna Beach deals with a homicide in the Westside / Headline SurferPhotos for Headline Surfer / Above, New Smyrna Beach cops stand guard in the 500 block of Washington Street in the heart of the historic Westside community before sunrise while investigators process the crime scene where a deadly shooting took place.
Shown at far left is the accused shooter, Reuben Watson and to his right is the deceased victim, James Jackson, II, both known to police.
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- A man has been arrested on homicide charges Friday after an argument turned deadly in the predominately African-American Westside community where blood was spilled in the street following several shots fired, cops said.

Here is a synopsis of what occurred at 1:11 a.m. Friday as described by New Smyrna Beach Police Lt. Shane Riggle in an email to Headline Surfer: "New Smyrna Beach Police received a call in reference to a shooting that had just occurred in the 500-Blk of Washington Street. When police arrived they found Jackson laying in the street and unresponsive to any communication.'

Riggle added, "Aid was rendered by the police and the New Smyrna Beach Fire Department and Jackson was transported to Florida Hospital by EVAC. He was pronounced deceased moments later." 

NSBPD Lt. Shane Riggle / Headline SurferHere is a synopsis of what occurred at 1:11 a.m. Friday as described by New Smyrna Beach Police Lt. Shane Riggle, shown here at right, in an email to Headline Surfer: "New Smyrna Beach Police received a call in reference to a shooting that had just occurred in the 500-Blk of Washington Street. When police arrived they found Jackson laying in the street and unresponsive to any communication."

Riggle added, "Aid was rendered by the police and the New Smyrna Beach Fire Department and Jackson was transported to Florida Hospital by EVAC. He was pronounced deceased moments later." 

Police began interviewing witnesses on scene and quickly learned a disturbance had occurred between two men in the street. Several shots were fired at close range and Jackson fell to the ground, Riggle said.

The suspect, Ruben Watson, was seen walking away and into a nearby residence, Riggle continued, adding, Watson surrendered to police and has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Watson has been transported to the Volusia County Jail with no bond allowed on the homicide charges.

The 500 block of Washington Street was reopened to traffic by mid-morning after investigators finished processing the crime scene. A motive for the shooting has not been released, if even known in the first place.

New Smyrna Beach homicide locator map / Headline SurferFAST FACTS: NSBPD Homicide

Case No.: 170200118
Type of Incident: Homicide
Date: 02/10/17
Time: 1:11a.m.
Location of Incident: 500-Blk of Washington Street, New Smyrna Beach, FL
Victim/Deceased Information: James Jackson III, 26, black male, of New Smyrna Beach
Suspect Information: Ruben Watson, 32, black male, of New Smyrna Beach 
 

Did You Know?

New Smyrna Beach has had seven murders in total since the beginning of the 21st century. NSBPD dealt with two murders in 2002, and one murder each in 2003, 2007, 2009, 2010 and in 2017, before Friday's murder, according to data from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. 
 
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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards. Frederick is enrolled online at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's a third of the way though the Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation will be in March 2018.