Man charged in gas station killing; shooter still sought, sources say

Published On: Aug 06 2014 11:15:54 AM EDT
Updated On: Jul 24 2014 12:54:50 PM EDT

Nicholas Stoner, the brother of the man charged with murder said his brother was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He says his brother turned himself in after seeing our report about the shooting. Police are still searching for another man suspected of firing the shots that killed 21-year-old Nedzad Botonjic. The sheriff's office won't comment on the ongoing investigation. This afternoon family and friends of Botonjic gathered for his funeral at the Islamic Center.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A 21-year-old man has been charged with murder and accessory after the fact in connection with the shooting death at a BP gas station Monday night.

Nicholas Stoner made his first appearance in court Wednesday morning.

Sources say police are still trying to identify the shooter in the killing of 21-year-old Nedzad Botonjic. The shooter is believed to be from the Orlando area.

Stoner is being held without bond pending arraignment Aug. 13.

"It's nothing that none of us wanted, seen coming, never done this type of stuff before," said Joe Stoner, Nicholas Stoner's brother. "My mom, she's heartbroken. I'm scared for him and I'm scared for the rest of us."

"I just want (the community) to know my brother was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He doesn't deserve this. He really doesn't, and my heart goes out to the family of the victim. It really does."

Joe Stoner said the man who shot Botonjic hangs out with his brother, Nicholas Stoner, and is "not a good person." Joe Stoner said the shooter knew Botonjic, but he doesn't think his brother did.

The funeral for Botonjic was held Wednesday at the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida on St. Johns Bluff Road. Botonjic was shot several times and killed about 6:30 p.m. Monday at the gas station on Atlantic Boulevard near Monument Road in Regency.

Botonjic's family is an emotional wreck. His dad, Rufad Botonjic, watched BP's surveillance video of the incident. He said his son was leaving the gas station when two men in a red car pulled up alongside him.

“The guy comes on the passenger side. I don't understand why the guy even came,” Rufad Botonjic said. “He talked something with my son. Then he came on the driver side -- something with hands. I think at this point my boy had enough. He tried to say to him, 'Go away, what do you want from me, man?'"

Investigators released a surveillance photo from the gas station of the man wanted in the shooting. Police said Nedzad was shot several times.

Witnesses told police two men had an altercation outside the store in the parking lot with Nedzad, then two men sped off down Live Oak Drive after the shooting in a small red four-door vehicle (pictured below in surveillance photo). The vehicle has a temporary tag.

Nedzad was born in Germany, grew up in Jacksonville and went to Englewood and Sandalwood high schools. His family doesn't have any idea who would do this to Nedzad or why, because he didn't have an enemy in the world.

"You can't not like Ned. His smile, his jokes," said friend Tito Brown. "He will make you laugh until your stomach starts hurting. Ned, he'll be missed a lot, his smile probably most."

"I'm glad he's in a better place. I would rather him be where he's at right now than the world we live in right now, because it's crazy, it's very, very crazy, especially with these young guys. It's tough, so I'm very happy where he's at right now, very, very happy."

"Smartest guy I knew, for sure," friend Michael Fojas said. "He loved basketball, he loved sports, video games."

Anyone who has any information about the location of the vehicle or the identity of the shooter is asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward up to $3,000, call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.

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