(RepublicanNews.org) – A Florida octogenarian and U.S. Army veteran who appeared to have never hung up his work boots was killed in what appeared to be a random stabbing on September 28th. Ed Mead, whose relatives referred to him as their family patriarch, was manning the guard shack at one of Florida’s scores of normally quiet retirement communities when he was attacked for unknown reasons by a man authorities say was homeless.
The still-active 81-year-old had only recently taken on Thursday evening shifts so his mornings would be free to ferry his aging wife to her weekly dialysis appointments. Despite being in his eighth decade of life, he continued to work not only at the retirement village but also as a delivery driver for a local restaurant, according to his daughter Rebecca.
Dad “wanted to work,” she said. He gave each of his children a strong work ethic and “told us to never ever stop.” Mead’s daughter said his guard duties were limited to Friday and Sunday evenings for almost an entire decade. She went on to say that her father’s Thursday night murder was the result of a schedule change that had only taken place about six weeks earlier.
The night of his stabbing, a village resident called 911 to report a medical emergency. It wasn’t until EMS arrived that they realized they had stumbled into the scene of an attempted murder. Deputies with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Department were quickly dispatched.
Upon reviewing surveillance footage, they put out an all-points bulletin for who they said was a 23-year-old “transient” by the name of Jeremy James Patterson. Law enforcement spent the next 24 hours using drones, dogs, deputies, and police officers in their search for the suspect.
Patterson was eventually apprehended in a nearby wooded area, according to authorities. The sheriff’s office has yet to announce a motive in his alleged stabbing of Mead. Patterson’s first arraignment is scheduled for November 2nd.
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