A 5-year-old girl is in critical condition after being shot in the head, while another girl was injured in a gun battle that broke out around her, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
Mike Key, who described it as a “heinous, meaningless crime” with innocent children arrested in the middle, said the two girls were in the back seat of the car around 4 pm. When a gun battle broke out on both sides.
Key said they are now looking for gunmen as well as witnesses after the shooting in the parking lot of a convenience store in Monaco and DePaul.
“It appears that shots were fired in both directions,” said Key. The children were completely innocent. They were not part of this argument or the fight. They were literally innocent, unfortunately, in the middle of the shooting. “
Mayor Lenny Curry initially tweeted about the shooting at 5:30 pm, saying that a child had been shot in the head “in what appeared to be a conflict-related crossfire,” and that the officers were stalking someone. Shortly thereafter he tweeted about the second child.
The mayor said, “Pray for these families while the police officers chase and pursue these criminals.”
Key said the shooting came after an altercation that escalated into a fight between two groups of people. The guns were then pulled out and shot while the girls, whose names were not immediately released, sat in a car between them, Ki said.
Key said the 5-year-old was shot and the other 4-year-old sustained minor wounds from flying debris. The suspects walked away, but the investigators didn’t have that description yet. Key said they don’t know what started the controversy.
“We’re getting a lot of support from neighbors and witnesses, and the community support was good at this point,” Key said.
Dozens of officers were operating on an encircled section of Monaco Drive and DePaul Drive on the north side of town, south of Dunn Street and west of Interstate 95.
It was the third violent incident in several days, after two separate deaths and injuries over the weekend. Police said a woman was arrested in a fatal stabbing incident.
An analysis of the Times-Union records showed that the Jacksonville homicides last month were the highest ever in any March in 15 years, with 17 years reported.
Also, the only year that saw more murders in the first quarter was last year, which ended up being the deadliest year in decades, at 43 compared to 41 in the first quarter of this year.
It was even worse for black Jacksonville residents, who made up 85 percent of homicide victims in the past three months. Since Times-Union began tracking homicide statistics in 2006, there have been no more black people killed in the first quarter.