Residents in Avondale and Jacksonville's Westside are hoping a police involved shooting Tuesday afternoon has ended a crime spree in the area. An undercover Jacksonville Sheriff's Office SWAT officer shot a man they suspect is responsible for a shooting at an Avondale CVS pharmacy early Monday morning.
Chief Annie Smith said SWAT officers had set up to do surveillance at an apartment complex in reference to the CVS robbery, and while they were waiting, they obtained a warrant for the suspect's arrest.
Channel 4's cameras were the only ones rolling outside the apartment complex where police said they were monitoring the suspect.
Smith said the officers saw the suspect getting into a car, and they followed him. She said he eventually took evasive action and crashed his car into an undercover SWAT vehicle in the 6400 block of San Juan Avenue at Jammes Road about 3 p.m.
According to Smith, the suspect jumped out of the back seat of the car and began running behind the building next to a Sunoco gas station and a Mr. Dragon Chinese Restaurant. Officers were pursuing the suspect, and Detective M.E. Campanero was directly behind the suspect as he came around the far side of the restaurant. They ordered him to surrender, and the suspect was carrying a black bag, clutching it close to his chest with his hand inside it, Smith said.
She said the suspect refused to comply and forced his way into the business by shouldering the door. As he entered, the detectives were behind him ordering him to comply, Smith said. She said there was a civilian in the business at the time.
The suspect turned toward the officer with his hand inside the black bag, and Campanero fired twice, striking the suspect. Police later found a gun in the bag.
"There were other occupants in the vehicle with the suspect at the time he jumped out. Those people are downtown being questioned," said Smith. No word on whether anyone JSO spoke to Tuesday night knew anything about the suspect or the crime.
The suspect, whose identity was not immediately released, was taken to UF Health Jacksonville in life-threatening condition and was undergoing surgery.
No officers were injured.
Traffic on San Juan Avenue was closed in both directions.
The resident's Channel 4 spoke with Tuesday said their area has seen it's fair share of crime.
Smith said investigators don't yet know if the suspect was the same man sought in the fatal shooting at Mojo no.4 Urban BBQ Whiskey Bar around the time of the CVS shooting. At CVS, the suspect shot an employee, and the bullet grazed his head. The worker has since been released from a hospital.
And police said a gunman shot and killed 54-year-old Robert Sutton (pictured, left) in the rear of the Mojo restaurant as he and another man were cleaning.
"It's the way it is, 20 years I've lived here, just the way it is. I was hoping it was the guy who shot all those people," said a neighbor.
This is the sixth police-involved shooting in Jacksonville this year. Four of the suspects were killed.