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JSO Seeks Witnesses To Drive-By Shootings In City Parks Tuesday Evening

Buick LeSabre
Mic via Flickr

Jacksonville police are looking for witnesses who may have information about two shootings at city parks Tuesday evening.

A 12-year-old boy and 30-year-old woman were shot in the area of Sibbald Road and Soutel Drive at around 7:30 in what are believed to be related drive-by shootings, according to JSO Officer Christian Hancock.

Lt. Ellis Burns told our partner News4Jax the 12-year-old boy was sitting on a bench by the basketball court at Charles Clark Park on Sibbald Road at 7:21 p.m. when the car drove by and someone inside started firing out the window.

The boy took off running, but was shot in the leg, Burns said. 

Bernard Brown, a football coach and athletic director of Charles Clark Park, told News4Jax the shooting lasted for three minutes as three gunmen reloaded, and 70 children, who were attending football camp and playing basketball, ran for cover behind the concession stand. 

Brown said he saw three shooters hanging out of the Buick, which had stopped in the middle of the street. 

The 12-year-old was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to police. 

Seven minutes later, a second drive-by shooting was reported about two miles away at Yancey Park on Soutel Drive. 

A 30-year-old woman was grazed by a bullet at the park's baseball field, where a T-ball game was going on, Burns said.

He said shell casings from different guns were recovered at the parks. 

Hancock says police want to hear from anyone who may have seen an older, blue Buick LeSabre in the area between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“There were a lot of folks at both of those parks during that time, so you gotta imagine that somebody saw something,” he said. “Maybe they don’t think it was anything big, but small things even help. So that’s what we’re looking for: those minor details that might help break this case wide open.”

Hancock says the Buick believed to have been involved in the shootings has been recovered and is in police custody.

Anyone who saw it — or anything else Tuesday evening — is asked to contact JSO at 904-630-0500 or email, or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS. A possible reward of up to $3,000 is available for information leading to an arrest. 

Contact Jessica Palombo at 904-358-6315, or on Twitter at @JessicaPubRadio.

Photoused under Creative Commons license. 

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP