Prayers for father, daughter shot at Westside apartment complex

Both expected to survive, no suspects yet, police say

By Destiny McKeiver - Multi-media journalist, Janay Cook - Producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A father and his 14-year-old daughter were shot in front of a Westside apartment complex on Saturday night.

Bullets started flying just after 6 p.m. at the Cross Creek Apartments on Manotak Avenue, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. 

The 39-year-old father was shot once in the chest and his daughter is recovering from a gunshot wound to her leg. They were taken to a local hospital and are expected to survive.

It is the same complex where police said Marco Stephens, 29, shot and killed his estranged wife, Ashley Stephens, in October of this year. Stephens was a mother of eight.

“I pray a lot for this area,” pastor and neighbor Mary Coxwell said. “It’s getting very, very bad. We are very concerned about it.”

Other neighbors echoed that sentiment Saturday night, saying crime is getting out of hand.

“I was standing at my grandmother’s front door and I heard the gunshots,” said one person who asked to remain anonymous. “I was like, whoa, that’s pretty close.”

Coxwell, who is affiliated with Bethel Tabernacle, lives nearby. She said she remembers the circumstances with the Stephens couple, as well.

“It’s really alarming,” Coxwell said. “It stayed with me emotionally because I was thinking about those eight kids she left behind. After that, there were a lot of shots coming just about every night.”

Police are reviewing surveillance cameras and talking with people in the area to figure out who is responsible.

Investigators do not have a motive at this time. If you have any information that can lead to an arrest, contact JSO at 630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS (8477). 

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