Ayers remembered for his love for music and family

Justin Ayers and family

Justin Ayers (center) poses with his father and stepmother, Steve and Tammy Ayers of Chipley

Special to the News
Published: Friday, June 20, 2014 at 01:40 PM.

CHIPLEY - While Tuesday's fatal shooting of Steven Justin Ayers, 33, of Panama City continues to make national headlines, Washington County is joining area communities in celebrating his life.

Ayers attended Bay County High School, but much of his family lives in Chipley and is well known in the community.

His father, Steve Ayers, managed the Winn Dixie store when it was still located in Harrell Square on Main Street for more than two decades, and his stepmother, Tammy, is the proprietor of The Learning Place childcare center on Coleman Ave.

Steven Justin Ayers -  called Justin by family and friends - was killed Tuesday night in an incident that one Bay County Sheriff's Office rep said had about "one in infinity" odds of happening. Ayers and his wife, Jessica, were celebrating the homecoming of their three-day old son, Jax, when a stray bullet fired by a neighbor at an adjacent home entered the Ayers' residence through a glass door and fatally struck the new father in the back of the head.

The neighbor, Charles Edward Shisler, 62, was arrested and charged with manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a felon. He told investigators the gun accidentally discharged when he picked it up inside his house.

However, while there's little argument that Ayers' death was tragic, his family says they prefer to focus on his life.

"He was such a wonderful, caring, and loving person," said one of Justin's younger three sisters, Tiffany Ayers of Chipley. "He was a godly man with a rock 'n roll soul who loved his family, and once he made a friend, that friend was for life."



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