Deputies: Drive-by bullets barely miss child inside home

Investigators ask for info after shots hit couch in West Augustine area home

By Allyson Henning - Reporter, Francine Frazier - Senior web producer

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Drive-by bullets barely missed a child on a couch in a West Augustine home early Tuesday morning, the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies said they were called to a home on Scheidel Way in the West Augustine area after gunshots were heard just after midnight Tuesday.

Several bullet holes were found in the home and shell casings were found outside, deputies said.

Multiple rounds hit a couch inside the home, narrowly missing a 9-year-old. Multiple young children were inside the home, including a 1-year-old, deputies said.

"They found nine shots outside, six inside and two shots that hit the couch where my grandson was laying," homeowner Leslie Harden told News4Jax. "For a grandmother, that's a lot."

"You know, I just want to grab my grandson and hug him. Thank God he was all right," she added.

Harden had words for whoever pulled the trigger.

"Why would you do this?" she said. "You could've killed an innocent child."

Anyone who might have been in the area between 11 p.m. and 12 a.m. Monday and saw anything suspicious, including vehicles or people, is asked to contact detectives at 1-88-277-TIPS (8477) or tips@sjso.org. You can remain anonymous and could be eligible for a $5,000 reward if the information provided leads to an arrest.

"If you know something or saw something, say something," said Sheriff's Office spokesperson Chuck Mulligan.

Investigators are also interested to find any video surveillance in the area.

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