Family: Young father hurt when shots fired into home with kids inside

Police say gunfire on Violet Street erupted just after 4 a.m. Monday

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – A 21-year-old father sleeping in a room with his baby was injured early Monday morning when shots were fired into a home, the man's family told News4Jax.

The gunfire erupted just after 4:15 a.m. Monday on Violet Street near West 14th Street in Atlantic Beach.

Donnell Demps Jr. was in an upstairs room with his girlfriend and 1-year-old son when bullets ripped through the wall, striking Demps in the leg, the man's father said. Demps is expected to be OK.

"It could have ended bad, but the bad thing is his son was in the room," Donnell Demps Sr. said. "That's what's eating him up inside, eating me up."

Demps Sr. said two children, including his grandson, were in the home at the time, and he's angry. He wants to know who's responsible for shooting up his house.

He said he has no idea why anyone would target his family.

The family said a car pulled up to the home and someone inside fired as many as seven shots.

Two bullets when through the side of a car parked in the driveway, another went through the front window and several more holes could be seen leading upstairs.

After the gunfire, Demps Sr. said his son stumbled out of the upstairs room, yelling that he'd been shot. He was taken to a hospital by ambulance with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

"My son ran out of the room, screaming that he had been hit," Demps Sr. said. "So I came outside in my underwear and looked to see if I could see anything."

Cmdr. Tiffany Layson said detectives are interviewing witnesses and officers are looking for the vehicle and the shooter, although they did not yet have a description of either.

Atlantic Beach police are asking anyone with information to please contact the detective division at 904-247-5859. They are also asking that residents in the area with security cameras please review their camera footage from 3:30 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. and report any information to police.  

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