ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – An armed felon is being sought by authorities after a shooting Sunday night left a 16-year-old and two adults injured, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.
Anthony Williams Jr., 26, fired shots at a group of people on North McLaughlin Street in West Augustine during a fight, deputies said.
The 16-year-old and a 28-year-old man suffered non-life-threatening injuries, and a 26-year-old was airlifted to UF Health from Flagler Hospital in critical condition after the shooting, deputies said.
Williams is wanted on three counts of attempted murder and a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon. He is believed to be armed.
Williams is described as black with black hair and brown eyes. He is 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds. He was last seen wearing sweatpants, no shirt and tennis shoes.
Deputies said it's believed Williams got more clothing after leaving the scene in a vehicle.
The vehicle was later found parked at a family home and was processed for evidence, deputies said.
According to the Sheriff's Office, the incident began after several juveniles got into a fight at a home on North McLaughlin Street, and the parents of the juveniles later met to try to talk out the issues and prevent future altercations.
Williams, who was not connected to the original dispute, started arguing with the group, and the incident turned physical. During the fight, Williams pulled out a handgun and fired several shots, deputies said.
The three who were wounded were driven in personal vehicles to Flagler Hospital, where the 26-year-old was then flown to UF Health for treatment.
Anyone who may have information on Williams' whereabouts is asked to contact their nearest law enforcement agency or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1888-277-8477 (TIPS).
Neighbors concerned about violence
Longtime West Augustine residents said incidents like the triple shooting are becoming too common.
“The violence itself is bad, and I just often wonder what people are thinking about, whether it’s the drugs and alcohol and it’s just a sad case when it has to be on a special day like Easter,” neighbor Paulette Anderson said.
Anderson has lived on McLaughlin Street and attended a nearby church her entire life. She said she’s seen up close how the neighborhood has changed.
“When we were coming up in my day, we had the neighborhood to look after us, you know?” Anderson said. “Now, it’s like, mom and dad are at work and the kids are home fending for themselves.”
Another neighbor, who declined to be identified, agreed.
“I don’t know what’s going on. I’m a Vietnam veteran and this has got to stop,” he said. “It’s got to stop.”