JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A security guard was shot and killed early Monday morning during an arcade room robbery in Jacksonville's Paxon neighborhood.
The robbery took place at High Score Arcade on North Edgewood Avenue just after 2 a.m. When officers arrived, they found the security guard was shot during the robbery. Investigators said the two robbers -- a man and a woman -- then ran off.
The security guard was transported to a local hospital, where he died. Under its interpretation of Marcy's Law, police will not name the victim but did say he was 37 years old.
Several witnesses were questioned by Jacksonville Sheriff's Office homicide detectives.
News4Jax learned this was the fourth robbery of High Score already this year and a person was killed just outside the arcade last September.
"I just think they ain't safe no more," said a man who works next to the game room. "They’re trying to protect their managers, their owners and it goes the wrong way. You pray for their family and hope they’re alright."
Other people in the area did not want to give interviews but said they were afraid to go inside the arcade.
News4Jax crime and safety analyst Ken Jefferson isn't surprised by the latest shooting at one of these businesses.
"These places are targets. I kind of hate to say it, but it is what it is -- they are targets," Jefferson said. "When you look at these buildings, (the windows) are blacked out like it is, you’re walking into the unknown. You don’t know what’s going on inside."
Anyone with any information is asked to call JSO at 904-630-0500, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-tips.
This is the second deadly shooting that officers were called to overnight. Just hours earlier, a man was killed in a triple shooting in the New Town neighborhood.
Fourth homicide at adult arcade in 18 month
Jacksonville's businesses are no strangers to violence as a result of robbery attempts. A man was shot and killed May 2 during a robbery at the Dream Arcade on Edgewood Avenue. A robbery at the Lucky Charms Arcade on Mayport Road in January led to a kidnapping and crash in which an 84-year-old man died.
Two security officers at arcades were involved in shootings last year. In December, a guard was shot during the robbery of the Cyber Spot Game Room on 103rd Street. In March 2018, a security guard shot and killed two robbers at the Spin City Sweepstakes Internet Cafe on Beach Boulevard.
"There have been so many of these robberies," Jefferson said. "We’ve done stories end-on-end about these places being robbed. It’s proving to be an unsafe place. People are coming in with weapons. People are getting hurt, people are getting killed. The places are getting robbed. What else needs to happen for them to shut them?"
Crime is a primary reason Jacksonville City Council voted earlier this year to close down all adult arcades by next February. Several arcade owners and one attorney told News4Jax there is going to be a legal challenge and request for an extension on the date set for these businesses to close.
We have documented nearly 100 of these business operating in Jacksonville. The city shut down a dozen of them that did not have the proper permits and is investigating another 23 with questionable permits to operate.
The High Score Arcade does have legal permits and is able to remain in business for another five months -- unless there is an extension.