Man, 20, killed in double shooting on Blanding Boulevard

Police searching for gunman who killed 1, injured another

By Destiny McKeiver - Multi-media journalist, Ethan Calloway - Anchor/reporter, Staff

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A man was killed and another was injured Sunday night when an argument escalated into gunfire at the intersection of Duclay Road and Blanding Boulevard, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said.

Christopher Thurston, 20, died at Orange Park Medical Center, police said.

Detectives said Thurston and another man were arguing about 8 p.m. near a Mobil gas station when the second man pulled a gun and fired a shot at Thurston. Homicide detectives said a third man may have been hit by a stray bullet.

People who knew Thurston told News4Jax on Monday that the young man was full of personality. 

"All the people loved Chris," said Dannie Smith, the pastor at Agape Baptist Church. "He was just one of those that have that personality that just drew you to him."

Smith said Thurston stopped attending church regularly years ago, and got involved with the wrong crowd.

"To see the path that he's taken and where he's been, just to me, is tragic," he said. "It's a difficult thing to see and observe, especially at such a young age when you have time to turn things around."

Now, Smith is consoling Thurston's family and trying to them them move forward. 

Police said they're searching for the gunman, who is described as a black man between the ages of 30 and 40, wearing a black shirt and black jeans. He ran west on Duclay Road, police said.

In times like this, Smith said, faith is more important than ever, and he has a message for the person who shot Thurston.

"Even at this time in your life, there can be forgiveness. God is able to forgive anything, but you have to recognize what you've done and deal with it," Smith said.

The pastor said he would also ask the shooter to turn himself in. 

Anyone with information is asked to call JSO at 904-630-0500. Tipsters can also remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

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