JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Police are searching for a yellow sports car after a double shooting that happened on Christmas night at a downtown night club, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said.
One man died and another person was injured in the shooting that happened less than a block from JSO headquarters.
The shooting was reported at Live Bar on East Bay Street just before midnight.
Police did not have a description of the shooter, but said investigators are looking for a yellow sports car.
Loved ones said “Johnny” was the name of the man who died. The Jacksonville man is being remembered for his giving nature and for always having a smile on his face. His family told News4Jax the 28-year-old was very family-oriented, a great father, son and brother and was a blessing to be around.
A flyer found near the bar shows the establishment had been advertising an event at the bar Christmas night, calling it “The Biggest Christmas Party in the City."
“It definitely was a sold-out event,” a promoter and assistant manager at Live Bar who goes by “Rentman” told News4Jax on Thursday. “Something usually positive, but I guess last night, somebody had something different on their mind and a vendetta that they needed to get off their chest so that’s what they did.”
The Jacksonville Sheriffs Office said Thursday the club has hired JSO to work off-duty before but have no record of an officer working for the party when the shooting happened.
“This has never happened here,” Rentman said. “If you look on our reports, we hire police for every night we open. We never have situations like this ever."
The assistant manager said Thursday night somebody dropped the ball.
The News4Jax I-TEAM also found the club failed it’s most recent fire inspection with six violations.
City records show the bar was also hit with a cease and desist order in 2017 after the business was found operating without a certificate of use. The business was flagged with 10 violations and found to be overcrowded by the fire marshal.
Current promoters at the club said they plan to make changes after the Christmas Day shooting and plan to be back open on Friday.
“We are going to go with metal detectors. We’re probably going to go to pat-downs with the metal detector. We are going to look into some different ways to go about it,” he said. “Something has gotta change.”
Witnesses told News4Jax the shooting happened inside the bar. A video on Twitter shows the chaos that broke out after the shots were fired. When the shots were fired, bystanders told News4jax they saw a crowd of people running out of the club and to their cars, including across the street.
A second person who was also shot checked themself into the hospital.