As of Thursday, 408 people signed a petition online and about 245 people signed a petition by hand in support of declaring Nov. 1 as “Stacy Hunter Day” in Jacksonville. Nov. 1 was Hunter's birthday.
Hunter, 43, was shot and killed Oct. 20 at his business, Stacy's Night Club. Officers cleared the building, at 2005 N. Jackson St., and called for an ambulance, but Hunter died at the scene, the Jacksonville Police Department has said in a statement. Hunter's alleged shooter, Jimmy Deshawn Mosley, 24, of Jacksonville, turned himself in and was charged with capital murder.
Cindy Hollis, who knew Hunter for about 23 or 24 years, said she never petitioned anything before but felt this was needed because Hunter was so good to people.
“Stacy was just average income, but he always gave his time,” she said.
Ms. Hollis hopes to present the petition to the Jacksonville City Council within the next few months. She said no one has told her she has to get a certain number of signatures but will get as many as possible.
“The reason I really wanted to make Nov 1. “Stacy Hunter Day” is (to have a time) where everyone could come together,” she said. “We'll barbecue. We'll eat. We'll have games for kids and tournaments. We'll just be able to do something like he does because that's Stacy's thing — getting people together to have a good time that people can enjoy.”
Hunter's sister, Veronica Hunter, said they are not trying to make the day an official holiday but rather a day of remembrance for what her brother did for the community.
Hunter worked as a code enforcement officer for the city and coached basketball and football for youth leagues such as Little Dribblers.
Ms. Hollis said a lot of the children Hunter mentored were on the wrong road and probably wouldn't have graduated high school. She said he also was determined to get adults on the right road and mowed people's yards for them.
Additionally, Hunter used his vacation to spend time with children and take them to sports tournaments.
“I just want to carry on his legacy. He lived for these kids in the community. Stacy was a people person. I can't think of one other person in the community who has done what he has,” Ms. Hunter said.
“We owe it to him to show appreciation of what he's done.”
She said she also wants something positive to come out of tragedy, and hopefully other male figures will step up in the community and follow in her brother's footsteps.
“He touched a lot of lives just being the type of person he was. He would make everyone feel like someone…,” she said.
“We could all get together for at least one day out of the year and continue Stacy's legacy. He believed in everyone.”
Ms. Hunter said “Stacy Hunter Day” also might be a day to help with senior scholarships.
Ms. Hollis thanked people who already have signed the petition and those who are supporting it.
Residents can still sign the petition online at www.change.org. Residents who are interested can also send an email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, and their name will be added.
Staff Writer Faith Harper contributed to this report.