Police search for 'armed, dangerous' suspect in clerk shooting

Owner says bullet came inches from clerk's heart

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A manhunt is underway for a man who shot a liquor store clerk Monday night during a robbery in Englewood, police said.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, the robbery was reported about 11:30 p.m. at the On The Rocks Liquor Store on University Boulevard just west of Barnes Road. Police said the clerk was shot once in the arm and was taken to Memorial Hospital.

The clerk's aunt told News4Jax that he's going to recover, but that it was a scary situation for him. She said he got out of the hospital Tuesday morning and was headed to the doctor Tuesday afternoon.

The owner of the liquor store told News4Jax that the bullet went under the clerk's arm and was inches from his heart. The bullet lodged in a shelf.

The owner, who News4Jax is not naming because the robber has not been caught, said the man wasn't hiding his face as he walked around the store. He said the man came up to the counter and shot the clerk before demanding the money.

“That's very unusual, because during a robbery, someone may shoot an employee if they're not complying or moving fast enough or (the robber) thinks they're refusing to do what they demand, so it's somewhat unusual to do that,” News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said. “The employee did probably everything they should have done.”

The owner said another customer was behind the robber and that someone else had to give the robber the cash because the clerk was on the ground after being shot. He said the robber got away with everything in the register, which was a couple hundred dollars.

“If you're not very confident in your fighting skills or your physical ability, it's best just to try to get as good of a description as possible (if you're in that situation),” Smith said. “Look at the person, and see what they're wearing. If it's possible, also try to get a tag number if they leave in a vehicle. Otherwise, you don't really have any responsibility to try to stop them.”

When the robber took off from the store, he was seen going eastbound down University Boulevard, away from the store, police said.

The robber was described as a black man, around 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing about 120 pounds. He was wearing a black shirt, black hat and red shorts.

Police are searching through surveillance video to try to get a better look at the man. They said the man is considered armed and dangerous.

JSO's crime-mapping tool shows several crimes within a mile radius of the liquor store in the last month, including four car thefts, six assaults, one robbery and three car break-ins.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the police immediately at 904-630-0500 or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.