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Friends remember victim of shooting as authorities investigate

As authorities search for answers, Ed's friends remember him as a caring and giving person....
As authorities search for answers, Ed's friends remember him as a caring and giving person. (AUSTIN BLOUNT)(WJHG)
Published: Dec. 30, 2019 at 6:28 PM CST
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A Sunday night shooting off Sunset Avenue in Panama City Beach has left the neighborhood grieving. For the Bay County Sheriff's Office, there are still many unknowns.

"We have had investigators out following up on leads. At this point, there's not a lot of new information to provide other than the fact that the investigation is ongoing and we have our entire criminal investigations division and special investigations division assisting in this investigation," said Lieutenant Jeremy Mathis with the Bay County Sheriff's Office.

Bay County Sheriff's officials say three or four African-American men entered the home of Edward Ross around 7 p.m. Sunday and shot him several times. Deputies are still working to identify the men.

"At this point we have some leads, but we hate to say that we know for sure who did it or what the motive or involvement was," said Mathis.

Mathis says no one is in custody at this point.

One of Ed's close friends, Austin Blount, says he's still in disbelief.

"It's been rough. I really don't know what to think to be honest. Last night, it was really rough, I went to the hospital last night, cried all night long, couldn't sleep. It just doesn't seem real because I don't understand how anyone would want to take Ed's life," said Blount.

Austin met Ed at the McElvey Road Skate Park in Panama City Beach six years ago.

"He was the best human being I've ever met in my life," said Blount.

Austin took time Monday to remember his friend through their shared love of skating.

As authorities search for answers, Ed's friends remember him as a caring and giving person.

"The man would give you the shirt off his back if he thought you needed it more than him," said Blount.

A celebration of Ed's life will be held Saturday at Mr. Surf's Surf Shop off Thomas Drive at 5 p.m.

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