16-year-old found shot to death in driveway

2 men taken into custody, no arrests

By Crystal Moyer - Traffic/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has two men in custody in a fatal shooting of a 16-year-old in the Ribault area of Northwest Jacksonville early Thursday morning, but have not announced any arrests in Johnathan Thomas' death.  

Just after 2:30 a.m. police were dispatched to Detaille Drive, off Cleveland Road, in reference to a shooting.

"Upon their arrival they found an individual lying at the end of the driveway right by the street," said Steve Zona, of JSO's Homicide Unit.

Relatives identified the victim as Johnathan Thomas (pictured). Police said he died at the scene of a gunshot wound.

Johnathan Thomas

"Homicide detectives are on the scene now interviewing potential witnesses and conducting a canvas to try to determine what occurred," Zona said Thursday morning.

Police did not say where the victim was shot or how many times.

"My little brother only 16 years old, like he only 16. He ain't 19, he's 16 years old," said Terreca Parker, Thomas' older sister. "He on his way to the 10th grade, just finished his first year in high school, can't even play football no more. My little brother, he was a real good kid and he have a baby on the way. So you know, they just took his whole life from him."

Police said they have no reason to believe this shooting was connected to any other shooting that occurred Thursday morning.

"We are interviewing potential witnesses at this time and conducting a canvas sweep to see if we can find additional witnesses," Zona said. "We do not have any vehicle description or suspect description at this time."

Around 9:15 a.m. JSO's SWAT team moved in toward a home at 4436 Detaille Drive, which is two doors down from where the man was found shot.

Officers were seen talking with people who neighbors said live in the home. They handcuffed one man, put him in a cruiser and drove away.

Officers put another man in a police cruiser and drove away. That man was not wearing handcuffs.

Investigators left the scene after nearly 11 hours.

Cynthia Barton, who lives with her elderly mother across the street from where the man was found dead, said she was at work and her mom was home alone at the time. Barton said she was afraid for her mom.

"She said she heard a lot of gunshots, and the neighbor across the street gave her a call and she saw a body lying across the street, so she called me at work to let me know something happened," Barton said.

Barton said she has lived in this neighborhood for nearly 50 years and still feels safe. She said it's typically a safe area and she hopes nothing like this happens again.

Marcia Campbell said her daughter heard gunshots and a car speed away and immediately had a feeling someone was killed. Campbell's 11-month-old grandson lives in her home, and she said they avoid leaving the house at night.

"It makes me very nervous knowing this is going on, but where can you move now that this is not going on in Jacksonville. It's going on everywhere," Campbell said.

Channel 4's Marques White spoke with Johnathan Thomas' sisters Thursday night, who said they are still trying to put together the pieces of how their brother was killed and why.

"I mean he was a loving caring person. That was my little brother. I loved him.," said Thomas' sister, Brittany Sanders. "Words can't explain.. I'm still over here trembling and shaking now. Words can't explain."

Thomas' sisters told News4Jax that they are now trying to arrange a funeral for their young brother and hope that justice will be served to the person or people responsible for his death.  

"I was really stunned because Jonathan was like my son. That's like my closest brother. So it really hurt me.He was like my son," said Thomas' sister and guardian, Terraca Parker. "It's shocking because it happened at 2 o'clock in the morning. Somebody saw something. And it's so sad because he got killed the night of my mother's birthday."

Police are asking anyone with information on this shooting to call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS (8477).

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