JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As police continue to search for two men involved in a shooting early Sunday morning, a clerk at a Brentwood gas station told News4Jax he spoke to the victim seconds before she walked out into the deadly crossfire.
Sam Patel said he knew 25-year-old Jessica Daniel for years. He said he's worked at the Jacksonville Shell station on North Main Street near the Martin Luther King Jr. Expressway for nearly two decades and has a seen a lot of crime in the area, but the latest incident hit him personally.
“Everybody’s sad around here. Everybody knows her. We’re sorry. I wish I could have done something," Patel said.
Patel said he had just spoken with Daniel inside the store seconds before she walked out to get in an SUV about 1:30 a.m. Sunday.
“I was right here, doing the garbage, and she talked to me and said, 'How you doing, Sam?'” he said. “It just happened in a split second. It wasn’t meant for her. She just walked out right into it.”
She wound up shot and killed. Another man was also shot but survived.
Patel said there was some sort of argument between two men, but it's unclear why they opened fire.
Police released surveillance photos of a suspect, but said they do not know who he is.
Officers said the man in the white shirt in the photos and the second man sitting in the passenger’s side of the SUV are somehow involved.
Patel said he hopes the men are found because Daniel was always nice and friendly.
“She always used to come here, swing by and you know get whatever she wanted to get,” Patel said. “She was kind of a good lady. I miss her.”
Daniel’s family did not want to comment about the tragedy.
Anyone with any information about the double shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.