Last Updated: 4:45 p.m.
John Robert Stubbs, a 46-year-old resident of 502 East Drain Street in Bunnell, was found dead on his doorstep this morning, soaked in blood. The Bunnell Police Department is conducting an investigation into “what appears to be a homicide,” City Manager Larry Williams said this morning. Stubbs was under a white sheet, next to the orange bucket he used detailing cars.
“The individual had blood on the front and rear of the t-shirt, more blood on the back of the t-shirt,” Williams said. “We’re waiting for FDLE crime scene to come evaluate and the medical examiner to determine the cause of death. It appears to be a homicide.”
By early afternoon, investigators at the scene were confirming that it was a homicide, with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement at the scene–along with a half dozen units of the sheriff’s office, including detectives, and several units of the Bunnell Police Department.
And just before 5 p.m., Williams said Stubbs was killed from “apparent gunshot wounds to the upper torso, pending autopsy.” Police had no suspects or anyone in custody, only some reports of early morning sounds that resembled firecrackers.
Earlier in the day, around 1 p.m., the duplex on Drain Street had been taped off as investigators surveyed the scene. A group of some two dozen people had gathered just past the edge of the crime-scene tape on South Moore Street, and smaller numbers had gathered on East Drain, speaking in soft voices.
Stubbs was a felon with a long criminal history in Flagler County, dating back to 1989. He served four years in state prison on a cocaine conviction. Two years ago he was arrested on a cocaine possession charge after a drug deal that went bad on Railroad Street in Bunnell: he was dragged by a vehicle, after approaching the car’s driver–Corey Miller, who was booked on an aggravated assault charge that day. Miller had suddenly accelerated away from Stubbs.
He’s been found guilty of forgery, and in 2013, subsequent to that incident on Railroad Street, he was again guilty of cocaine possession and sentenced to a year in prison. He’d been released a few months ago. He was found dead this morning around 10 a.m. by an individual in the neighborhood.
“We’re waiting to get a search warrant to search the inside the house,” Williams said. “It is a house that had drug activity in the past. We’re not saying that the cause of this was drug activity, but the house had past activity. We’re processing the exterior of the house.”
“This was not the call I wanted to get this morning,” Pastor Sims Jones, a Palm Coast resident whose church is in Bunnell and who is deeply connected to the community in South Bunnell, said as he stood looking at the back porch of the house, off South Moore Street. “He gets out there, he hustles, but he’s not a danger to anybody,” he said of Stubbs. “He was getting ready to do my car. He does detailing. He does good detailing. Nobody had a problem with him.” (Friends of Stubbs, a Marine, provided the video of his fineral, left.)
By then of course, it was clear that somebody had had a problem with Stubbs. “That’s the strange thing about it, that’s what’s surprising to everybody,” Jones said.
Stubbs’s sister, Renee McKay, was nearby. “He was just a nice person, he didn’t dis-respect anybody. The only thing he was into was cleaning cars,” McKay said. “You’re not going to find anybody say anything bad about him. It’s hard to believe this.”
Shemeika Rollins lives in the house immediately to the north of the duplex where Stubbs lived, with a clear view onto the backyard of the duplex and the back door to Stubbs’s house, where the porch light was still burning. She was upset that she had walked by today and not realized that he was there. Her husband and her cousin found him and alerted authorities. “That’s my neighbor, my friend,” Rollins said of Stubbs, who called her “Baby Mama,” she said. “He’d just got done washing cars,” she said, certain that he’d just returned from a job with his orange bucket, and maybe had surprised someone in the house that wasn’t supposed to be there. She pointed at a back window, where the curtains had been half torn out and pushed out from within. “Somebody tried to get out of that window,” she said.
Bunnell’s police chief, Tom Foster, is on vacation today. Cpl. Matt Mortimer of the Bunnell Police Department was in charge of the scene. “We brought in an additional officer,” Williams said, as the department had been working with a minimal staff because of the Thanksgiving weekend. “We’re questioning [people in] the area, people are apprehensive in giving answers but they’re being cooperative,” he said.
The sheriff’s office is assisting. “We’re assisting them from a crime scene standpoint only of scene security,” Jim Troiano, the sheriff’s chief spokesman, said. “I know they’re going to be reaching out to other agencies for assistance.”
Flagler County registered one murder this year, on Sept. 23, when Anna Pehota, 75, shot her 77-year-old husband in their hammock trailer then called police and confessed.
“This is ridiculous,” Rollins said. “Little old Bunnell.”
This what happens when you get involved with drugs.
My condolences to friends and family. Nobody deserves this.
Oh please says
This is what happens when the United States lets drugs into the country
It’s sad that this mans past has to be broadcasted instead of showing sympathy in the fact that his life has been taken from him. His past doesn’t take away the fact that he was a good person who worked hard. He may have had an addition problem, but why judge him? I pray for his family and his hopes he is at peace and that whatever happened to him comes to light.
just saying says
Thank goodness the FCSO has two CSI personel, two CSI vans and a major case response vehicle. Oh well, at least with FDLE doing to the work instead, there won’t be the over head of five finger discount on vitamins or the mixing of evidence that lets a prison rerelease offender off without a sentence for latest crime.
I sure hope the FCSO does the investigation. The only way the boys in blue will catch the killer is if he puts out a cigarette on the sidewalk, has a burned out tag light or comes into town with his high beam lights on. The Bunnell city manager could catch him before the BPD could !
Y’all should be ashamed. This does not sound drug related, and even if it was, shame on you, nobody deserves to die. Every life is precious and to say those things takes a cold hearted individual. Have some respect….
The truth says
Like this https://flaglerlive.com/88065/daniel-ruddell-arrest/?
Samuel L. Bronkowitz says
This is what happens when drugs aren’t legalized.
David S says
Rip thank you for your service to our country.
Nancy N. says
Oh yeah, everyone is so fast to jump on the “well drugs, what do you expect” bandwagon as a way to not have to care about this man’s sad fate.
Twice as many people die every year in this country from alcohol as from drugs yet everyone freaks out about drugs while happily chugging away on their alcohol….why is that, anyway?
Concerned Citizen says
EVERYTHING IS NOT ABOUT DRUG IN BUNNELL…
Concerned Citizen says
My condolences goes out to the family of Mr. Robert Stubbs..Prayers for his mother for strength to stay strong in her time of bereavement.
Veteran, that’s the kind of comment you leave when your involved with racism.
The drugs are already here. Some of the worst problems in this town have to do with prescription drug abuse.
John R. Stubbs cut to to the head of the line – where we’ll all meet later.
R.I.P Mister John.
Your life was precious.
drugs or not the man did not deserve to be left for dead.
Just me says
IMO this shows the stupidity of the prohibition of drugs. just like when booze was banned it made for criminals to make big money and crime that came with it. make them legal like booze sell it in stores like liquor stores and we will see the crime drop from it like happened at the end of prohibition. Who does not want this to happen well the criminal drug dealers as they will loose their revenue and also the entire criminal justice system as it will also loose much of its revenue.
“When the game is over, the king and the pawn go into the same box.”
Try to remember that every single day of your life.
It will make you a better person – I promise.
i will miss you every day in my life I’m glad ur in a safe place now love you i will never forget about you lv you look down in smile ill be waving lv u
condolences to his family.
Tavarez Richardson says
Rest in peace Rob. And my sincere condolences yo the family. He was my neighbor. He didn’t bother anyone, and didn’t deserve to have his life taken. Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s never too late to change.
stubbs was a stand up citizen…….very often he would stand up-leave his house and do something illegal
Pastor Sims Jones says
It’s a shame that when a Black person die that the first thing we do is look up his criminal record. We all have things in our past that we are not proud of. The key is to change and Mr. Stubbs was changing his life from doing the wrong thing to doing the right thing. He worked hard to make money the legal way. So why do we look for the worst and not the good in people. He was a vet and shouldn’t be looked at as a criminal. We should look more into who killed him. Let’s stop tearing down and lift up. He is a person and should be treated as a person. The world would be the better for it.
Pastor Jones, Mr. Stubbs was the victim of a homicide and a known felon with a long record. Whether he was black, white, Bengali or Norwegian–and for that matter whether he had a record or not–we would have looked up his record regardless, and all records relevant to the incident. This homicide took place in South Bunnell, involving a black man. It says nothing about blacks in general. It says nothing about South Bunnell in particular. Those are merely facts incidental to the case. But they cannot be muted or euphemized to spare feelings. To suggest that the reporting is driven by the man’s skin color whitewashes the facts on several levels, among them the recurring attempt to use his race as a means of silencing his past–which from a reporting standpoint would be irresponsible–and the cheap-shot attempts at diverting from the reality of a brutality by pointing an accusing finger at the media. Sure it’s popular and it may make people feel a bit better. But it’s no less absurd, and we’re not about to either facilitate the finger-pointing in that regard or engage in it. You humanized Mr. Stubbs with the interview you granted us, as did his sister and his neighbor, which we appreciate. And you have always taken spoken the truth, often uncomfortable truths, in your role as a voice to the voiceless before local government bodies. We would appreciate it if you respected our role, which in many respect is not dissimilar from yours.
Niece, sorry for the death of your uncle. While I don’t know him it seems like he was working hard to try to earn a living. I respect him for that, and send my condolences to all of his family and those who knew him.
Paster Jones says
with all do respect to Flaglerlive, The media does not treat People of color the same as Non People of color. Think about this, if a member of your family was killed. would want the first thing you see in the media is about your family member criminal record and unflattering picture in the news without first hearing why they were killed. see that assume he was killed because he was involved in some kind of criminal action. that’s how it appears to the family and people who will read the article. not just you but media in general do not show people of color in the best light. Nothing personal but this is how the family and others see it. Have a good day and God Bless.
there he goes pulling the race card…..
pastor jones I am sure he wasn’t killed for being an upstanding citizen–or for standing outside walmart ringing a Christmas bell
likely his involvement in criminal activity is what got him killed-don’t sugar coat any of this or his past actions–he is just another Michael brown in my eyes
man of color says
Pastor Jones, on behalf of Flaglerlive they give a “Bio” about criminal history or not when it comes to most stories or individuals they cover. You have to remember Pierre Tristam has been called on his own site mind you every foul name in the book as well as have individuals attempt to post untrue, clouded information about his name, where he is from and personal beliefs. What most good writers do is give you information surrounding the events or factors relating to the person covered in the story. And it is a fact Mr. Stubbs was known to police and system not in a good way. I think Flaglerlive is an allie to your grudge and I can almost promise if you saw the racist/bigoted comments Pierre has to edit or keep from seeing the light of day you would agree.
Ray Thorne says
It’s ignorant to label your concern as a black issue and not just a personal issue. The story would read the same on anyone with a criminal history.
man of color says
Anonymous, and Ray Thorne Pastor Jones does have a legit beef it just shouldn’t be with Flaglerlive. For you two “probably” caucasian individuals to tell a man like Pastor Jones something is ignorant or a race card is a joke. You two wouldn’t have lasted 30 seconds being black growing up in “BuckTussle” oh, you don’t know what that is? You two need to worry about your future president Donald Trumph looking to enslave any white person that isn’t as rich as him and then we’ll see race cards, and ignorance.
So many compassionate remarks.
So much empathy and respect for the dead,
and their loved ones.
Oops, wrong article.
alesha and arize says
thankyou uncle rip i am thinking of you everyday