JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – What was initially reported as a landlord-tenant dispute turned out to be an argument over a parking space that escalated into a shootout Monday afternoon on West 20th Street, just west of Myrtle Avenue, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
Police said Michael Hilliard, who lives on West 20th Street, came home about 1:30 p.m. Monday and began complaining to two workers at a nearby apartment complex about an SUV parked in front of his house.
One of the workers told police that Hilliard, 34, argued with another man about the SUV and then aimed a gun in his direction during the argument. The man told police the other man began firing after Hilliard pointed a gun at them, and that Hilliard returned fire.
The other man, who News4Jax is not naming, is licensed concealed carry permit holder. He told police he fired five shots, and then ducked into the apartment because he was out of ammunition.
He said Hilliard made eye contact with him and then began firing into the apartment. He said he ran to the other side of the apartment and called police.
Hilliard was wounded in the shootout and drove himself to UF Health Jacksonville. His injuries were not life-threatening, police said.
Police said when they searched Hilliard's home they found a handgun, a shotgun, ammunition, marijuana, crack cocaine, a large amount of cash and drug paraphernalia.
Hilliard was arrested and charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, armed cocaine possession, armed marijuana possession and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Hilliard was convicted of cocaine possession in July 2012.
Girl witnesses shootout
A 9-year-old girl who said she saw the shooting said she heard a man say, "This is my house," and then saw him pull out a gun.
“He started cussing, and he had pulled out the gun from his pocket when he starts shooting,” said the girl, who News4Jax is not identifying for her safety. “He said, 'This is my house,' and then he was cussing at him.”
Police were processed the area Monday evening and spoke to neighbors about the history of the folks who live in the home.
Neighbors said the home, which was built by HabiJax, has had a lot of traffic for the past month and they have seen up to 50 cars coming and going from the home in just hours.
“The reason why I'm speaking out on this issue is because my granddaughter was down there, and she could have got shot,” said one man, who asked not to be identified. “I'm mad as hell, and I'm tired of it, and somebody needs to do something about it.”
Within a half a mile of the home, JSO’s crime-mapping tool shows 110 crimes have taken place since June 1, including:
- 37 assaults
- 26 burglaries
- 20 vehicle break-ins and/or vehicle thefts
“When somebody you love gets shot, everybody wants someone to come forward and say, 'Hey I saw this and saw that,' but I'm telling you this right now, I'm going to say something right now: Stop the drugs,” the man said. “Shut down the crack houses and stop this right here madness.”
The names of the two people involved in the shooting were not released.