Firebombs thrown into NW Jacksonville apartment

Woman, 5 children OK; no arrests made

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Northwest Jacksonville family says they were attacked with firebombs early Tuesday morning, saying someone threw flaming bottles of kerosene at their apartment.

None of the six family members was hurt at Shannon Ridge Apartments on Shenandoah Avenue, nor was anyone arrested.

Maria Wilkins said someone threw the first of bottle of kerosene through a window of their second-story apartment about 3 a.m. She said the second homemade Molotov cocktail went into one of her children's bedrooms, and there's broken glass to prove it.


Wilkins said a third bottle was thrown as she was trying to go out the front door, and the burn marks are visible.

"I heard it and I jumped up," Wilkins said. "I just couldn't think but to just grab my kids and go out the door, out the back door. That's all that I could do."

Wilkins said it was scary for her and the five children. She said she never saw who did it but found glass bottles she believes were filled with kerosene. She gave them to Jacksonville police, who are investigating.

Officers said they found paper that looks like it was intentionally set on fire, a handbag and a baseball bat just outside the unit.


"I've got confidence they are going to get them," Wilkins said.

She said luckily the firebombs didn't burn the home down, but the glass did hit her niece. Thankfully she wasn't hurt.

"They are pretty lucky," Wilkins said.

But her family, including 8-year-old Giovanni, is shaken up.

"They are messing with innocent people," he said.

"I don't know what they were thinking," Wilkins said. "They should have thought that there is nothing but babies up here. You're messing with innocent people."

Wilkins said a group of teenagers who live in the complex had been picking on her niece. She said they even beat her up. She believes they're to blame, and she let police know and they're looking into that possibility.

The apartment's manager declined to comment.

Police wrote the report as criminal mischief, which is a second-degree misdemeanor, but that's not to say police or the state attorney's office wouldn't upgrade the charges if someone is arrested.