A 15-year-old boy watched in horror as his 44-year-old father, James Beck, was murdered in cold blood during a Craigslist transaction in Tampa, Florida, according to the CBS News.
It was reported that James decided to sell his son, Stuart’s, dirt bike after realizing he had “grown too old for it,” therefore, he posted an ad on Craigslist.
Not long after, he received a response from two potential buyers.
At around 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 31, James and his son agreed to meet-up with the buyers – two teen boys – at a local neighborhood on North 18th Street and East 24th Avenue in Pasco County.
It was reported that once they arrived at their location with the dirt bike in the bed of James’ truck, it was evident that the potential buyers had another agenda.
— Erin Maloney (@ErinOnTV) February 1, 2017
One of the suspects opened fire and shot James twice before both teens took off with the dirt bike.
Neighbors heard the shooting and ran to James’ aide but it was to no avail.
Lashauna Hopson lives in the area and stated that she ran “down there and I begin to help the little boy, you know, I gave his dad CPR.”
“I was like, ‘so where did he get shot’ and that’s when he pulled up his shirt and you could see he had two gunshot wounds to his neck,” said Hopson. “He told his dad, ‘I told you not to do this’ and it just touched me in a way because I have kids. It was like, just very sad. When we did give him the CPR, he took his last breath.”
James was pronounced dead at the scene; his son was not injured.
Police officials later identified 17-year-old Dontae Johnson, who is a student at Plant High School, as one of the suspects in the Craigslist shooting, as well Ramontrae Williams, 16. Both were arrested on charges of first-degree murder and robbery.
The victim’s son stated that he got the dirt bike as a “Christmas present, and I worshiped it because it came from my dad. He taught me how to ride. It started as his hobby and moved on to mine.”
“He was a wonderful man. He had a great sense of humor, always knew how to make someone laugh. He always had a smile on his face and he made the whole room happy.”
A close friend of the victim and his family, Christina Finnell, stated that Craigslist should warn buyers and sellers about the potential dangers of “meeting with strangers.”
“I’ve done it too. Never realized the inherent danger that could be in that, and I know Jimmy didn’t either,” said Finnell. “Why, why, why would you do this? Why would you devastate a family like this for a motorcycle?”
— Sean O'Reilly (@SeanWFTS) February 2, 2017
Following the deadly Craigslist transaction, a Go Fund Me page was created on behalf of James’ family.
The Go Fund Me listing reads as follows.
“We are all so incredibly grateful for all the love and support we’ve received over the last couple of days. And we are also amazed that we made our goal of 10,000 in just one day. That is just a representation of how generous and gracious our community has turned out to be.
“Although we reached our goal, Suzie and family still have a long way to go and unfortunately, Jimmy did not have any life insurance. Because of this, we would be beyond grateful if you would continue to donate.”
“Jimmy would be so glad to see his family being supported, so thank you for being a part of that,” the message continues.
Tampa police officials found the dirt bike late Tuesday night.
[Featured Image By JFLAURIN/iStock]