JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man driving Friday morning on Holly Bell Drive in Fort Caroline was shot several times and his car then crashed into a palm tree at the Eagle Pointe Apartments.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said between eight and 15 rounds were fired at the car at about 10:30 a.m. The man was struck at least once in the head, but was listed in stable condition at UF Health Jacksonville and was expected to survive.
Video from a witness shows the rescuers as they first responded, working on the man in the front seat of his car. Police said he was trying to drive away after being shot, but crashed his car into another car and then a tree.
Witnesses to the shooting saw two men leaving the area, off Merrill Road near Justina Road Elementary School and only blocks from Jacksonville University. The witnesses said the men were chasing the car and shooting at it.
JSO Lt. Steve Mullen said with that many bullets flying, it's a miracle no one else was hurt.
“Without the help of the citizens we would not have been able to do this as quickly as we did,” Mullen said.
Police and a K-9 team tracked the men to a van, which was pulled over in a traffic stop and two people were taken into custody. Officers found a semiautomatic gun lying in the van.
It wasn't known if the gunmen knew the driver or the motive for the shooting.
Holly Bell was closed into the afternoon while evidence technicians processed the scene.
Monique McQueen lives at the complex and had just left to drop her toddler off at day care when she came back and found her apartment surrounded with bullet casings.
“When I got here, I saw cops everywhere. I was like, 'Oh my goodness!'” McQueen said. “Honestly, when I heard, I was shaking. I had to call my apartment complex office to verify because I didn't believe it.”
Over the past six months within a half-mile radius of Friday's shooting, there have been 73 assaults, 39 burglaries, 15 motor vehicle thefts and 16 robberies.
Anyone with information about Friday's shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.