JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As officers continued to search Thursday for two armed men suspected in a deadly shooting, police chase and home invasion on Wednesday in Arlington, many people who work at a shopping plaza where shots were fired and who live in the area were still on edge.
News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said Thursday that the Jacksonville 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 search stems from a violent crime spree that unfolded Wednesday at three different scenes in the Arlington area. Just after 11 a.m. Wednesday, a young man was shot multiple times and killed in the parking lot in front of a Baptist Primary Care office in the parking lot of the Dames Pointe Plaza on Merrill Road at Townsend Boulevard.
“I was in complete shock. I don’t know what I was thinking. I was just scared," said a woman who was working inside a nearby business at the time. "I didn’t know what to do because I’ve never been in this situation before.”
Homicide detectives said at least seven shots were fired from a gray car, striking the man in his mid-20s who died at the scene.
“I heard something and didn’t know it was gunshots until a customer came in and told me," said a man who works at the shopping plaza. "Then I heard the police all over.”
Police said at least one bullet hit one of the businesses in the shopping center, but no one inside was injured. A sign was left on the door of the employment agency, letting people know the business was temporarily closed. News4Jax got in contact with the agency franchise owner on Thursday, but she declined to comment. Employees at other neighboring businesses said that when they heard the gunshots, they took cover until police arrived.
An off-duty officer, one of several people who witnessed the shooting, pursued the vehicle, which police said was reported stolen last year, until it crashed on Townsend Boulevard, several blocks south of the shopping center. Police said two men in their early 20s got out and took off. Surveillance video from a neighbor shows two men running and jumping over a fence near a child’s playset.
Just after 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, officers were called to a home invasion robbery on Townsend Road at Alderman Road, just south of where the stolen car was dumped.
“Two individuals went inside the home, changed clothes, held the homeowner hostage and then were picked up by a possible orange or red Dodge Challenger or Charger,” Sgt. Mike Silcox said.
Silcox said the victim was not injured. The woman’s husband, who was not home at the time, told News4Jax that his wife was coming out of the bathroom and found the two men standing in her bedroom. He said she tried to get them to leave and even tried to run, but they held her down. The husband said he’s happy she’s alive.
The woman told News4Jax on Thursday that she was still shaken up. Her neighbor said the woman was held hostage for an hour.
The Sheriff’s Office released the following descriptions of the two men who police said are considered armed:
- 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.
Anyone who recognizes them 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). Police also asked residents and businesses with surveillance video to check the footage.