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

Photos 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 blow at left is the accused shooter, Reuben Watson and to his right is the deceased victim, James Jackson II, both known to police.

New Smyrna Beach deals with a homicide in the Westside / Headline Surfer

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 block 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 block 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.

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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 since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.