Sunday, May 19, 2024

Friends gather to remember man killed in dog park, demand justice for shooter

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Community Mourns Loss of Man Fatally Shot at Tampa Dog Park

The community at West Dog Park in Tampa’s Leto neighborhood is reeling after the tragic death of one of their own, John Walter Lay. The beloved park regular was shot and killed on a Saturday morning, leaving his friends and fellow dog lovers in shock and mourning.

According to friends, Lay had been the target of homophobic slurs from George Declan Radford, the suspected shooter who also frequented the park. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office did not arrest Radford, citing self-defense claims with no witnesses to confirm or deny.

Equality Florida has joined the call for a fair investigation into Lay’s death, with community organizer Ant Avila emphasizing the need for justice. Lay’s friends are also exploring ways to memorialize him, potentially through a bench, marker, or even renaming the park in his honor.

As they seek justice and remember Lay, the community is coming together to support one another and honor his memory. The tragic incident serves as a reminder of the ongoing fight for equality and justice for the LGBTQ community.

Despite the heartbreak and loss, Lay’s friends are determined to ensure that his memory lives on and that his death is not in vain. The community at West Dog Park continues to stand strong, united in their grief and their commitment to seeking justice for their friend.

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