JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – At least one man was wounded and an elementary school door and a car were struck by gunfire during a shooting Monday in the Magnolia Gardens neighborhood of Northwest Jacksonville, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
Police said no students and staff were involved in the shooting that happened outside George Washington Carver Elementary School.
Officers said they responded just before 5:30 p.m. to Hamilton Circle and Cleveland Road, in the area of the elementary school, where they found a man in his 20s with a gunshot wound to the head. JSO Lt. John Gay said the man told police that he and several other people were walking along West 45th Street near the school when they were approached by a silver Ford Fusion and someone inside the car began firing.
“They actually fled onto the school campus, and the shooting continued,” Gay said. “We had a vehicle that was parked in the parking lot of the school and the door on the school boiler room were also struck by the gunfire.”
Gay said the victim was taken to a hospital to be treated for injuries that were described as non-life-threatening.
But a police report obtained by News4Jax painted a different picture, suggesting two people were shot. The report said witnesses saw a group of four men gathered near the dumpsters at the school, heard multiple gunshots and then “heard someone say they were shot in the leg.” According to the report, three men scattered and one man tried to get into the school, but the doors were locked. Police said they found the gunshot victim who had been wounded in the head. They also found shell casings, a cellphone and a gold necklace on the ground near the dumpsters.
SWAT was called to make sure no one got into the school. The school was placed on code red lockdown for about 45 minutes while a search was conducted.
“It’s crazy, and it puts the kids in danger. I don’t know what happened, but it needs to stop," said one grandparent. “They need to get the guns off the street, and get more programs for the kids to have something to do.”
Tara Givens told News4Jax that she had to wait until it was safe to pick up her grandchildren from their after-school program.
“I panicked. I was scared," Givens said. "It’s actually sad, because the situation like this here, you shouldn’t have to go through this with a kid’s elementary school.”
Grandparents said they hope the incident will be a wake-up call to stop the violence.
“I just hope that Jacksonville, with the shootings, they need to kind of calm that down because we have kids out here," Givens said.
Investigators said they did not yet know what the motive was behind the shooting. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477).