Neighbor: Men suspected in murder held woman hostage for an hour, choked her

Jacksonville police continue to search for 2 men wanted in fatal shooting, pursuit, home invasion

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A woman who was held hostage in her Arlington home is pleading for the two men suspected in the home invasion, which followed a deadly shooting and police chase, to come forward.

As Jacksonville police continued to search for two men wanted in Wednesday’s violent crime spree, the woman told News4Jax off-camera on Thursday that she was still sore.

Her neighbor also spoke with News4Jax, saying she was outside Wednesday afternoon when the woman came running outside with scratches and blood on her.

“All I was doing was taking down my Christmas decorations and I looked over and the victim came over and just collapsed and was holding her throat, saying, ‘Call 911. Call the police. Get help,'" said the neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous. “She was shaken up. She fell right onto the ground.”

Just after 11 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, at least seven shots were fired from a gray car, fatally striking a man in his mid-20s in the parking lot of a shopping center on Merrill Road at Townsend Boulevard.

An off-duty officer, who witnessed the shooting, pursued the stolen vehicle until it crashed on Townsend Boulevard, several blocks south of the shopping center. Police said two men in their early 20s got out of the vehicle and took off.

Officers were then called just after 12:30 p.m. to the home invasion on Townsend Road at Alderman Road, just south of where the stolen vehicle was dumped. Investigators said the two men went inside, held the woman hostage and changed clothes before being picked up by an orange or red Dodge Challenger or Charger.

The woman’s neighbor said the men walked into the woman’s home through her sliding glass door, which was open for the cats, and held the woman hostage for an hour.

“They choked her," the neighbor said. “When I was at her house, I saw blood on her shirt.”

The neighbor also said she was in the right place at the right time to help the woman, who was home alone at the time.

“This shows you how desperate these two men are and how dangerous they are and we still need to be on high alert,” said News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson.

Jefferson said Thursday that the Sheriff’s Office will have uniform and nonuniform officers out looking for the two men, and may even have the U.S. marshals get involved.

The Sheriff’s Office released the following descriptions of the two men at large:

  • Suspect 1: 5-foot, 5-inch tall black man with short hair with twists, tattoos on both arms wearing a gray T-shirt with “Perminti Brothers” on back, brown pants and white New Balance shoes
  • Suspect 2: 5-foot, 5-inch tall black man wearing a black hoodie, white muscle shirt and black pajama pants with “Mountain Dew” on them.

Police and the woman who was held hostage are hoping someone comes forward with information.

Anyone who recognizes the two men is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward of up to $3,000, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477).

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