Mayor Says Spring Park Shooting That Injured 5 And Killed 1 Was Gang-Related

Jan 16, 2019

An SUV riddled with bullets arrived at Memorial Hospital early Wednesday morning, dropping off six people wounded in a multiple shooting in the Spring Park area, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Our News4Jax partner reports a 25-year-old victim died shortly after arriving at the hospital. One of the others was reported to be in critical condition, but the other four had non-life-threatening injuries.

The victims' ages range from 20 to 40 years old.

Investigators are working to determine if the SUV was parked or moving about 2 a.m. when the shooting took place, but JSO Lt. Ellis Burns said police believe all six victims were inside the SUV during the shooting.

"We're trying to interview people now, but there are still people in surgery," Burns said.

By Wednesday afternoon, police had not yet identified the victims or updated their investigation, but Mayor Lenny Curry told News4Jax it involved a group leaving a strip club and that the shooting was gang- and drug-related.

"I'm sick and tired of these gangs and drug-business folks making people in our city feel unsafe," Curry said. "I spoke to the sheriff early this morning and that is what he told me."

Gloria Clark caught the first flight from Atlanta Wednesday morning after she heard that her brother was one of the victims. She said he was shot in the chest and was in stable condition.

"I didn’t get a chance to see (him). I didn’t get a chance to talk. I don’t know what’s going on," Clark said.

Clark said she lost another of her brothers to gun violence nine years ago and wants something to change.

"I think that the younger generation don't realize how precious their life is," Clark said. "They feel like it’s OK to pick (up) a gun because we see it on TV and let’s pretend we are this super person, but in reality, they are not. (My) message to them is that we need to stop."

Emerson Street was closed for nearly six hours while police gathered evidence at the shooting scene, leaving orange paint on the road where they had recovered items.

A man who owns a business on the same block said the crime and violence in the area is much worse than it used to be.

"It was not unexpected to me because I’ve been here for 40 years and watched it go down the tubes," William Greer said. "There’s drug deals here all the time. There’s alcoholics that call themselves homeless all the time. I mean it’s shocking to know it happened right at your doorstep, but it’s all over town now.”

No suspect description was given by police. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call JSO at 904-630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.