JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A controversial Jacksonville rapper who has the attention of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office was the target in a drive-by shooting this week.
Charles Jones, who goes by the rap name of “Julio Foolio,” was grazed by a bullet during a shootout outside a Riverside home where music was being recorded on Monday, according to a JSO report.
Neighbors near where the shooting happened told News4Jax they have made complaints for months about suspicious activity at the home where the shooting happened, but they said those complaints have been being ignored.
Now some have talked about moving out of the area.
The shootout left bullets holes scattered around the neighborhood — in car windows and in homes.
A neighbor who asked to remain anonymous said she woke up to sounds of gunfire on her street just after midnight. JSO said it found 20 shell casings, possibly from an AR-15, in the street.
“We ran to check on our kids and ran to look out the window and we saw a car with its windshield shot out and several people running back and forth from the house next door to the car,” the woman said. “I was terrified. I thought I could have died. I thought my kids could have died.”
According to the police report, Jones was injured in the shooting.
As rapper Julio Foolio, he’s known for his controversial rap lyrics that contain details about murders in Jacksonville and his affiliation to the group KTA, a group that is known as a violent criminal organization, according to JSO.
Julio Foolio went live on his Instagram account about 12 hours after Monday’s shooting and defended his actions while more than 7,000 people watched.
“I shot back in self-defense, if I did something illegal, I’d be in jail,” he said. “N**** did miss a whole 100 shots though. They sick right now, whoever did it.”
(Warning: The video below contains explicit language that some may find offensive)
The shooting happened outside a home on Ernest Street, where police said several people were recording music.
Julio Foolio told police he heard gunshots when he walked outside and the shooters were in a dark-colored truck or SUV. He told JSO he grabbed two guns and returned fire.
According to the report, the rapper’s ankle was grazed by a bullet but he was not taken to the hospital.
“I do believe I saw him [Julio Foolio] being escorted to the car because it seemed as if his leg or foot had been injured,” a neighbor told News4Jax.
JSO found four guns owned by Julio Foolio and other witnesses at the scene along with a white t-shirt, 20 spent shell casings and a possible AR-15 magazine lying in the street.
Neighbors said the home where music was being recorded is a safety issue. News4Jax went to the home Thursday but the man who lives there did not want to comment.
According to JSO’s calls for service, officers responded to the home on two different occasions for noise complaints in January and March.
The tenants rent the home and the property took on new ownership in September, records show.
From February to August, neighbors said they sent several letters to the former property owners.
One letter references loud noise and illicit activity coming from a recording studio at the back of the property. A former neighbor who wants to remain anonymous said there was evidence.
“I sent several emails and pictures of guns being laid outside, videos of traffic coming in and out at all hours of the night. Anything I could give them and they just blatantly ignored. The most they did was send them a notice,” the former neighbor said.
The former property owners sent News4Jax a statement saying the only complaint they received was in September about suspicious activity. The office manager said it issued a lease violation to the tenant. They said the property passed several inspections before it was sold and they never found a recording studio.
Neighbors also filed a complaint to the City of Jacksonville in March. They said their complaints about “Studio Jacksonville” at the property were ignored.
The city responded in April, saying no active violations were observed and the city was not able to cite the property for the complaint. It added the studio’s address was listed on Lennox Avenue, not Ernest Street. The city closed the case after claiming to not see any signs of a business operating at the home.
“I am leaving. I am not staying here,” one current resident said. “We were planning on moving soon anyway, but we’re leaving. We don’t feel safe here anymore.”
Neighbors want something to be done so they don’t have to dodge bullets anymore.
News4Jax briefly spoke with Julio Foolio on the phone on Wednesday. We asked him if he was OK after the shooting and he said yes but didn’t comment any further.
The former property owner said safety has always been a priority for tenants.
News4Jax also reached out to the current property owners and City of Jacksonville to see if they knew about the complaints. We will update this story when we hear back.
As of Thursday, no arrests have been made in connection with the shooting. The shooters face a possible attempted murder charge.