ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Police believe they have recovered the the red Ford vehicle connected to a 36-year-old man wanted in connection to a pair of of shootings in West Augustine that left a man and woman dead and another woman shot. A baby was also injured, but not by gunfire, authorities said.
Deputies are searching for Johnny Lawrence Williams Jr. of St. Augustine. A arrest warrant for Williams was signed by a judge overnight.
A woman, later identified as 24-year-old Jamie Wilson, was shot and killed at the corner of Rollins Avenue and South Whitney Street. She was apparently holding a baby and dropped the child when she was shot, deputies said.
Family members said Wilson was in a relationship with Williams.
A man, later identified as 18-year-old Keiwuan Murray, was shot and killed near the intersection of Duval and West 4th streets, and a woman nearby was shot in the hand, deputies said.
The two shootings were about a mile away and were called in almost simultaneously.
The injured woman and child were taken to Flagler Hospital to be treated.
Investigators believe the two shootings are related, but they don't know the connection.
"We don't know if it's domestic-related, if it was drug-related. We just don't know right now," Sheriff David Shoar said.
UNCUT VIDEO: Sheriff Shoar gives first details of triple shooting
Deputies said Williams, who is described as a black man, 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighing 195 pounds, fled the scene in a silver Nissan Murano. He then ditched that vehicle and allegedly took a 2001 burgundy-colored Ford Contour with Florida tag 362 JLL.
Investigators said they recovered a vehicle late last night in Duval County, believed to be the red Ford involved in the shooting. It was found on Kenmore Street in the Moncrief neighborhood on Jacksonville and was impounded for forensic examination by the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.
Seven public schools were placed on a "soft" lockdown, including Sebastian Middle, Murray Middle, Osceola Elementary, Crookshank Elementary, The Webster School, St. Joseph Academy and Gaines Alternative School. Within one hour, the lockdowns were lifted, according to St. Johns County School District spokesperson Christina Langston.
Deputies search for 'armed and dangerous' man
Williams should be considered armed and dangerous, deputies said. He has a lengthy criminal history that includes previous charges of attempted felony murder, strong-armed robbery, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, battery on a law enforcement officer, eluding police, drug possession and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
His arrests date back to 1997, when he was a teenager.
Williams' driver's license, which expired in 2012, listed his home address on Duval Street, near the location of Murray's shooting.
"At this point, they don't know if it was a retaliation-type shooting or exactly what happened," News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said. "They still have several pieces of this puzzle that they're trying to put together while they're also trying to catch the suspects."
Smith said investigators are working to gather information from the public, along with evidence from the scenes, to create a clear picture of how the shootings unfolded.
"What they do is they try to figure out, based on the evidence, which information or which tips that are coming in, seems to be most credible, and if they can match up with other tips, then they can work it from that point," Smith said.
The Sheriff's Office said even the exact sequence of events is unclear at this point. Smith said sorting that out is a process that requires all hands on deck.
"This is going to take a while," Smith said. "They're going to be out here for a while processing these two scenes, because there's so much inside the house, outside the house, and just so many people to interview."
Initial reports indicated deputies were looking for two men in connection with the shootings, but that information was updated later to say they were only searching for Williams.
He was listed as a "person of interest" and not a suspect in the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office release, but deputies later said Williams is believed to have shot and killed both Wilson and Murray.
Smith said as officers search for Williams, tips from the public are crucial.
"If witnesses were able to get a good look at him, they could possibly identify him, but at the same time, he was carrying a rifle, so they may have been trying to take cover and get out of the way to protect themselves," Smith said.
Community reacts to double homicide
A woman who said she is Murray's mother posted a message to her Facebook page Tuesday, saying, "I can't believe my son is gone. I just hugged and kissed him and told him to be careful."
People have been leaving their condolences on social media and sharing a photo of Murray.
Residents in the St. Augustine neighborhood said the area is typically quiet and the shootings were shocking.
"I was doing yard work, and I heard all the sirens, and I thought, 'Where is that coming from?' I thought it was an accident," Catherine Curtis said. "It never even crossed my mind that it would have been something like this."
A man who identified himself as Wilson's uncle said he was in Jacksonville when he got a call and rushed to St. Augustine.
"I had no idea that someone would come up to me and tell me my niece, Jamie Wilson, would be dead," Jolay Carswell said. "Because what? Because of anger? Because of drugs?"
An old friend of Wilson's said the baby in her arms when she was shot was her 2-month-old child.
"I'm just trying to wrap my mind around it," Kabria Nelson said.
Wilson's friends said she was a new mother, owned her own cleaning company and had just become a licensed practical nurse.
They said her dream was to help save the lives of others, but hers was cut short.
“(She was) a young woman with a lot of ambition, a lot of goals that she had accomplished at such a young age,” said Shaye Stokes, an old middle school friend of Wilson's. “It was just senselessly taken away too soon.”
Stokes and other mourning friends called on Williams to turn himself in.
"It's not even worth going on the run. Just turn yourself in," Stokes said. "Stuff like this doesn't happen in St. Augustine, so he's bound to be caught."