If you didn't know how much of a mark 49-year-old Horsley Shorter Jr. left on his East Tampa community, you found out at the North 40th Street Family Dollar on Monday.
Shorter, a retired Army vet who everyone knew as JR, was shot dead inside the store Sunday morning when investigators say an armed man tried to rob the store.
JR, who was the store manager, was coming to the aid of an employee when he was killed.
"Just a sad day Sunday, a sad day," said co-worker Juawanda Huggins.
Monday, a candlelight vigil was held in the store's parking lot in honor of Shorter.
"He had a great soul and deserves this and more," said friend Melissa Kuykendall.
It seemed like everyone in attendance had a story about how JR had helped them in the past.
But none more than one young man. He was the employee who JR rushed to save Sunday morning.
"He came out of the office to save me, that was his last action, he was a hero. I was right there when it happened," said the clerk, who did not want to be identified.
He didn't want to reveal his name, but did want the world to know about JR's heroic last act.
"He tried to disarm the guy and that's when he shot him and JR died right then and there," said the clerk. "His last act is he wanted to save me, he wanted to protect us."
The 20 year old is still shaken, especially since the shooter is still on the loose. But he says he puts his faith in his community.
"I am still afraid, but with this tight community I believe he's going to be caught," said the clerk.
A community that gathered to honor a hero, while at the same time pleading for justice.
"He was one of the good ones, he really was and this was senseless," said friend Kaye El Terrell.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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