Police looking for car involved in deadly shooting

1 killed, 2 injured in January car-to-car shooting on Cassat Avenue

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Police are trying to identify the owner of a car involved in a January shooting that left a 29-year-old Jacksonville man dead.

Shots were fired Jan. 18 from a Toyota Camry into the victim's car on Cassat Avenue, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Three men were hit by the gunfire, which sent the victims' out-of-control car crashing into a building owned by Georgia Distributing Co.

Erick David Smith was killed, Jason Guthrie, 29, was critically injured and third man was also hit with gunfire but survived.

Jay Guthrie, Jason Guthrie's father, said the shots were fired after one of the victims smiled at a woman in the other car.

Police said the Camry is a late 1990s or early 2000s model, its rear bumper is pushed in on the top, the top right front quarter panel by the passenger door has a dent and the car has a round sticker on the passenger side rear window.

Keith Waller, who owns a barbecue restaurant near where Smith was killed, said he thinks JSO is doing all it can to keep the area safe.

"We moved in here in 2007, and over that time, there's a big difference from what it was then. I very seldom have problems ever here. There are things that happen periodically, but like I said, those things can happen anywhere," Waller said. "(We) had some police officers (and) the sheriff that would come in and eat at Monroe's, and if we have an issue, we let them know, and they would address it for us. I think having those types of people around and doing surveillance and lights at night has helped prevent a lot of that."

Nearby residents had similar feelings.

"They're much better. They stepped up the patrolling. I tell you, every hour at least, if you come up here to the Shell station, there's a Jacksonville police officer hanging around," David Ensor said. "He'll ride in the back streets over here and everything to make sure everything is safe."

Anyone with any information on who owns the vehicle involved in the shooting, who may drive the vehicle, or where the vehicle is located is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward up to $3,000, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

About the Author: