The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is investigating two separate shootings at a Westside gas station in less than 24 hours.
One shooting Thursday evening left a bystander in critical condition and police searching for a shooter. Police said someone was shot in the parking lot outside the gas station in a separate shooting Friday morning. That person was shot in the arm and the injuries were non-life-threatening.
Police said they're interviewing witnesses from each shooting to see if the cases are related. They said they don't know what led to each of the shootings, other than there was an argument before Thursday's gunfire. Police said they're working to identify suspects.
Police said on Thursday, two men got into an alteration at the Big Discount Beverages and Gas on the corner of Melvin and Ricker roads about 5:30 p.m. They say one of the men in the argument left, came back with a gun and shot at the other. The bullet missed its target, but hit a customer who wasn't involved in the altercation.
Police have not identified the victim in that shooting, but said he was transported to Shands Jacksonville Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. They said his condition Friday was upgraded to stable but serious.
One of the initial callers to 911 in Thursday's shooting reported the gunman was firing a machine gun, but no weapon was recovered and police could not verify the type of gun used.
Resident Charles Harris was on his way to pick up his 4-year-old daughter from a day care Friday roughly a half block away from the store when he heard about the second shooting.
"That's why I don't let my kids walk up here by themselves anymore," Harris said. "But I didn't know they had another. I thought that was my television. I wasn't expecting another shooting this morning."
Channel 4 crime analyst Ken Jefferson said the people who live in the area will need to do more than simply rely on police to stop the violence.
"What they need to do is adopt the neighborhood buddy system, report any suspicious activity, persons," Jefferson said. "If those neighborhoods have a neighborhood watch, inform the block captain and let them know what's going on."
Anyone with information about either of the shootings is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.