12-year-old remains in hospital after shooting
Victims sleeping at time of shooting
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 12-year-old girl is expected to remain in the hospital for the next week while she recovers from gunshot wounds she sustained while sleeping in her Northwest Jacksonville home early Sunday morning.
Her mother was also shot and is expected to recover.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office identified the mother as Sheryl Rubright and the daughter as Julia Rubright.
News4JAX initially did not publish the girl's name, but her father since released it to us along with a photo of the child.
Chris Rubright's wife and daughter were sleeping in a front bedroom of their home on Hilly Road shortly before 6 a.m. when more than 20 gunshots were fired from outside.
"Honestly, this is a cowardly act. Anyone who would sneak up on a house at 6 a.m. on a Sunday and do this is a coward in my book," said Assistant Chief Scott Dingee with JSO.
IMAGES: Rubright home shot up
Rubright walked News4JAX through the home Sunday evening, pointing out all the bullet holes.
RAW VIDEO: Chris Rubright walks News4JAX through home
He said he was sleeping on the couch at the time.
“All I heard was my wife screaming 'honey, honey, ya know, the baby has been shot' and she hollered for dad and I dove on them and I got them on the floor, I got them back here and as soon as I got them back here, I hit the street," said Rubright.
Rubright said he feels guilty he couldn't protect his family.
“I should have been right there, I should have been right there taking the bullets, that’s where I should have been," said Rubright.
Five people were in the home at the time, including Chris, Sheryl, their adult son, Julia and 1-year-old grandson.
Chris, his son and the 1-year-old were not injured.
Rubright said he's deaf in one ear and didn't hear the gunshots, but he'll always remember his wife's screams.
“It’s bone-chilling, it’s the worst thing ever and it’s all I can hear and I can’t even imagine how they are affected through this," said Rubright.
Sheryl was shot in the leg twice. Julia was shot in the stomach and leg and will have to be in the hospital for at least a week.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office believes this shooting was drug related.
“Do you know why you would have been targeted for any reason?" Channel 4's Nicole Snyder asked Rubright.
“I have no idea, I don’t have any bad blood with anyone, my wife doesn’t, my daughter obviously doesn’t," said Rubright.
Rubright said his oldest daughter is in jail and speculated it may have something to do with that, but he didn't know for certain.
“Sometimes they do get the wrong house, but many cases people involved in the drug trade or in gangs, they will scout the house out first, to look for a car the person may drive or let them know the person may be there," said News4JAX Crime and Safety Analyst Gil Smith. "They will fire shots and in so many cases like this, so many times innocent people are hurt or killed.”
Smith also said sometimes the shooters in these situations aren't necessarily the people directly involved in the original dispute.
"It could be a relative of that person who was upset with them and then they may come back and retaliate and you just see the back and forth continue and it’s a long time before it ends,” said Smith.
The Rubrights just started renting the home six months ago and now the father said he plans to move his family right away.
“We are the luckiest, unlucky people I know, but we are blessed," said Rubright.
JSO said a small dark colored car was seen speeding off from that area early this morning but they do not have a suspect description. JSO said the car had a loud custom type muffler.
A neighbor, who didn't want to be identified, said she heard about six gunshots this morning and saw a car drive off.
“In this neighborhood it’s not too odd, I hear gunshots quite a bit and I also look out to see any cars or what direction they are going,” said the neighbor.
Anyone with information is urged to call JSO at 904-630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.
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