A Jacksonville man charged in the stabbing death of a Chicago Bears fan at an Irish pub at the Jacksonville Landing early Sunday morning "calmly and cold-bloodedly cut the victim's throat," then walked away, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
Police said 27-year-old Matthew Hinson (pictured below) was with his wife at Fionn MacCool's Irish Restaurant and Pub when he saw his wife talking with 42-year-old William Pettry, of Lake Vella, Ill., and his friend.
Investigators said Hinson apparently became jealous and enraged, reports WJXT-TV in Jacksonville.
"At this point, we don't know what words were exchanged because it was just the victim and the suspect sitting on a bench inside the bar, and a witness just said that he stood up, cut him and then basically just walked out," JSO Lt. Rob Schoonover said.
Police said Hinson placed a bloody knife in his pocket, calmly walked out and drove his truck by himself out of the parking lot. Officers caught him a few blocks away. They said he resisted arrest, which is why he has abrasions on his face in his mug shot. Hinson was eventually taken into custody.
Investigators said he admitted to the stabbing using a pocket knife, but said he didn't remember why he did it.
Hinson is being held in the Duval County jail on a murder charge and was ordered held without bail.
Police said Pettry, a father and husband, was in town to attend Sunday's Jaguars-Bears game.
WJXT-TV in Jacksonville wasn't able to get in to contact with any of Pettry's family or friends in Illinois, but his wife, Karen Pettry, posted her husband's photo and a message on her Facebook page. She wrote, in part: "I'm so numb and I still cannot believe it is true. [My husband] was taken from his family way too early. Some idiot has taken his life. I'm so mad, just don't understand why, very lost right now. Please hug the ones you love because you never know if tomorrow you will have that chance."
Channel 4's Vic Micolucci spoke with a witness, who asked to remain unidentified, and said she was at the bar early Sunday morning when Pettry was killed. She said her friends, who are nurses, stepped in to help, but were not able to help him in time.
"I didn't think he was going to make it by the way he looked," the witness said. "A person who was standing next to the victim said that he just turned around and all of the sudden there was just blood gushing from the victim's neck. So it seems like people didn't understand what was going on. It was really quick."
The stabbing was chilling for those who saw it, and it has also raised concerns for people in downtown Jacksonville.
"Yeah, it seems kind of alarming. It seems like a peaceful area," said Garrett Hayman, a Bears fan.
Bears fans descended on the Landing after the game and said even though police did make an arrest, some were having second thoughts about their safety and whether or not they'd come back to the River City.
"It makes me feel a little more skeptical next time, yeah, I would be," said Thomas Kientzle, a Bears fan.
Michael Chambliss, director of marketing for the Jacksonville Landing released a statement Sunday night that read, "The Jacksonville Landing and Fionn MacCool’s would like to express our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the victim, William Pettry, from the incident last night. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. At this time, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation. Because of the ongoing investigation, all questions should be directed to the Sheriff’s Office."