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Repairs begin after bullets fly downtown

Pre-dawn shootout on Sunday damaged cars, buildings

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Windows on two downtown high-rise buildings and the parking garage of the Omni Hotel are getting repaired after bullets from a pre-dawn shootout on Sunday damaged the buildings and several cars. No one was hurt and police are still looking for the gunmen.

The shooting started in a parking lot on Hogan Street, near the Omni Hotel, where bullet fragments can still be found. Witnesses told police they saw someone running away and shooting at the same time. That gunman jumped into a car and drove away.

Police said there were 18 bullet holes in the Omni garage.

It happened about 1:30 a.m., so no one was in the offices when the bullets came through the windows. The damage was discovered Monday morning. 

Windows were shot out on the Wells Fargo building and staff at the SunTrust Tower told News4Jax that three windows were shot out and are being replaced.

One of the cars shot up in the parking lot belongs to Wegayehu Gobena.

"That is not good. It’s not good for the city," Gobena said. "That is why I usually don’t go out downtown. I would rather go to Orlando, stay the night down there and go out down there, just to be safe."

Downtown Jacksonville has seen its share of violence. In January 2017, two teens were shot during the city’s Art Walk. It set off a panic downtown. A month later, a fatal shooting in front of the Jacksonville Landing on Martin Luther King Day also caused a lot of concern.

People here say crime is everywhere, but this won’t keep them away.

"It makes me happy to come down here and eat and be part of downtown," Nicole Saling said. 

Police say no arrest have been made in the case.


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