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Suspect identified in home invasion shooting

Police: Triple shooting began as home invasion at complex near UNF

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Three men were shot and one of them was killed Monday morning at a Southside apartment complex that's popular among college students, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

JSO said that the shootings resulted from a home invasion robbery and according to reports, police found 27-year-old Bryant Jerald Collier dead at The District apartments on Kernan Boulevard South.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Bryant Collier
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Bryant Collier

Police have said that he is one of two suspects who took part in the home invasion robbery. Collier (pictured) was arrested in 2013 and 2011 for drug possession.

The second suspect, and the victim of the home invasion were also shot and are being treated at a local hospital.  

"All three people were at the apartment complex during the shooting, and they all received their gunshot wounds from that shooting," JSO homicide detective Michael Paul said. 

One of the victims drove to the 121 Financial Credit Union at Kernan and Beach boulevards about two minutes away looking for help, and someone there called 911 when the man said he'd been shot. Rescue and police arrived, and the man was taken to UF Health with life-threatening injuries, Paul said.

That man's car, a dark-colored Toyota Camry, was found by police at the bank and towed away.

Another man drove himself to UF Health and was in surgery in serious condition, Paul said.

Paul said two people on the lease for the apartment where the shooting took place are reportedly students at Florida State College at Jacksonville, but it's unclear if either of those people were among the shooting victims.

K-9 units were at the scene searching for evidence or possibly anyone else who was at the shooting scene.

Investigators are also looking at surveillance video at the 121 Financial Credit Union in the parking lot area and at the apartment complex.

Chip Thomas, who lives at The District, said his parents were worried after they heard about the shooting.

"They called me up. They asked me, 'What's going on?' I really didn't know what to expect," Thomas said. "It's scary. It's not something that happens every day, at least not for me. I'm from a smaller town."

The apartment complex management posted a statement on the apartment's Facebook page:

"We want to let you know that a shooting has occurred on property as part of an attempted robbery in which one individual was killed. The incident involved non-residents. Police have responded to the incident and are on property investigating the matter to ensure they have the matter under control and that there are no other suspects.

"We are cooperating fully with the police as they investigate the matter and will provide updates as they become available. Your safety and well-being is our top priority. Please dial 911 if you suspect a crime has occurred, is occurring or to report suspicious activity. Not doing so could result in crucial delays."

"It's not something that should happen," Thomas said. "It's pretty scary."

The apartment's Facebook post also encouraged residents of the complex to get to know their neighbors, always to lock their apartment doors -- even when they are inside -- and to keep windows or screens latched.

"We urge all residents to double-check to make sure all existing locks and latches are functioning properly and to notify management immediately if these devices are not working," the post said. "If you walk around the community at night, walk with at least one other person."

Since this time last year, there have been 11 residential burglaries, six car burglaries, three street robberies and one aggravated assault within a quarter-mile of The District apartments, according to JSO's crime map.

Anyone with information about Monday's shooting is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.