2 shot in robbery outside Westside Applebee's
Jacksonville police say man asked for money, then pulled gun
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two people are recovering at UF Health Jacksonville after they were shot early Sunday morning outside of the Applebee's restaurant on 103rd Street.
Police say a man asked for money, and the group of people gave him a couple dollars, but apparently he wanted more.
The restaurant closed at 2 a.m. but police say a group of people continued to hang out. Officers say a man walked up to the group and asked for money. After being given $2, investigators say the man started to walk away, but then turned around and showed a pistol.
They say he then demanded the group's wallets and phones. The people in the group said they didn't have any more money, and one person in the group stood up. Police say that person was shot in the chest, and another person, still sitting on the bench, was shot in the chin.
The director of operations for Applebee's in North Florida and South Georgia says the people who were shot were sitting on the benches right outside the restaurant. He's concerned for his employees safety.
The district manager says he's thankful this happened after hours so that more people weren't hurt.
This is the third unsolved robbery attempt and shooting within a 4.5 mile radius in the last three weeks, all of them happened in the early morning hours.
A mile and a half from the Applebee's is where a man was robbed and murdered at a bus stop on Jammes Road July 14. On July 19, 22-year-old Amber Bass was shot and killed in her own driveway, 4.4 miles from Applebee's.
"Its crazy it seems like every time you turn around now its like something else is happening a shooting over here somebody getting run down somebody getting robbed and beaten up," said Vinnie Siegrist.
A cash advance store in the shopping mall directly next to restaurant was held up in September by somebody who was trying to rob it. The SWAT team was called out.
Applebee's director of operations said the restaurant was on lockdown that day. Since then, they haven't had any problems, but this shooting definitely has them alarmed. He says they have surveillance cameras on the inside of the restaurant, but in the next three days, they'll add 20 on the outside.
John Jackson found out about the shooting when he went to eat at the restaurant Sunday morning. He's lived in the area for about 20 years and calls the recent violence out of control.
"Trying to get my son something to eat. Now I hear about a shooting, so it's like there's nowhere to really be safe at," said Jackson.
The recent violence has Jackson and other neighbors thinking twice about walking around his neighborhood after dark.
"If you want to see the next day, that has to be a thought. You can't be oblivious or naive to the situations that's been going on lately in the neighborhood."
"I feel unsafe for number one. I feel like locking my doors. Watching my back when I enter in my car and outside my home and not trusting people," said Linda Alexander.
There have been no arrests made for the shooting outside of Applebee's. The only description police gave about the man who robbed and shot the group of people there is that he is a black male, in his early 20's with short dreadlocks.
Investigators are currently looking for a vehicle. It is described as a gold or tan late 90's early 2000 model sedan, possibly a Buick LeSabre with tinted windows and a broken trunk that prevents it from closing.
The two people shot were taken to the hospital but are expected to recover.
If you have any information about these crimes, call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
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