JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – The Jacksonville Beach Police Department on Tuesday released surveillance photos showing two vehicles and two people in the pier parking lot around the time of a shooting last week.
Police hope the two images will lead to an arrest after a man was shot in the back early July 2 just south of the pier.
People on the beach heard gunfire about 3:30 a.m. near Ocean Front South and Fourth Avenue South, and they walked about 20 blocks south and flagged down an officer about 30 minutes later.
Police said the victim was conscious when they found him south of the pier. He was taken to Memorial Hospital, where he underwent surgery.
"Shootings themselves are very unusual for us (in Jacksonville Beach)," said Cmdr. Tommy Crumley, with the Police Department. "But, you know, for somebody to be shot right there on the beach, it was very unusual."
Potential witnesses told officers they saw a female and male running from the area after the shooting.
Sometime between 3:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m., a four-door sedan and a van were captured on surveillance footage in the nearby pier parking lot, police said.
On Tuesday, investigators released two surveillance images -- a photo of the sedan and a photo showing showing two people walking away from the van. Detectives said they're trying to locate the occupants of the two vehicles to see whether they witnessed any suspicious activity or heard anything in the area of the pier around the time of the shooting.
Though both vehicles pictured appear to be a light, metallic color, police noted the colors could be distorted due to the lighting.
As of Tuesday, police said, the victim was recovering but had been unable to provide much information about what happened. That's why Crumley said tips from the public are so critical.
"People dismiss things the longer times goes on. They kind of lessen the significance of what they thought they saw or what they could have seen," he said. "So it's important to get the information out now that we're looking for people that were in that area."
Police said they have since ramped up patrols in the area.
Anyone who recognizes either vehicle is asked to call the detective in charge of the case at 904-247-6341.