Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Family Remembers Mother, Wife Taken Away Too Soon; Killed by a Stray Bullet in 2010 While Driving near a Shootout

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Family Remembers Mother, Wife Taken Away Too Soon; Killed by a Stray Bullet in 2010 While Driving near a Shootout

Article excerpt

Byline: Jim Schoettler

ORANGE PARK | Five-year-old Johnathan Gobaton sat on the grass across from his mother's grave Wednesday afternoon and used a black marker to draw an angel on a white balloon in his lap.

The little boy with neatly cropped dark hair then scribbled a note to the woman who died two years ago to the day from a stray bullet fired by a drug dealer on a Westside street.

"I Love You, Momy," he wrote with a squiggly heart and a missing letter.

Moments later, Johnathan, his brother and sister, their dad and about 30 other family and friends of Analiza Gobaton let a stiff breeze carry their balloons toward the sun over Jacksonville Memory Gardens.

The memorial service not only fell on the anniversary of Gobaton's death in 2010 but also came two weeks after a Duval County jury convicted gunman Taurice Brown of first-degree murder, guaranteeing him a life sentence.

Gobaton, 41, died two days after being shot in the head while driving on Blanding Boulevard on her way to an award ceremony for her children at their nearby school. Brown, then 23, fired 16 bullets during a gun battle that erupted with a rival drug dealer as they both tried to serve a crack den on Transylvania Avenue.

John Gobaton still drives by the spot whereahis wife was shotaas he picks up his kids from school. He said the trips remind him of that dreadful day.

"I always give it a glance and I get that flash of 'boom, boom, boom' and my wife is gone," said Gobaton, 42. "When I get past the [nearby traffic] light, she's in a better place."

Gobaton said he felt some relief after Brown's conviction but still believes others involved should be held accountable. That includes Anthony Wiggins, the rival drug dealer now in jail on drug charges, and John Reilly Schultz, the crack-addict who sought the drugs. Schultz has never been charged and has refused to take responsibility for his role or apologize to Gobaton. …

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