Police: Man found shot to death inside Southside hotel room

Jacksonville police say they found ‘obvious signs of foul play’ on third floor of hotel

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man was killed early Tuesday morning at a hotel on Jacksonville’s Southside, police said.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, multiple gunshots rang out just after midnight inside one of the rooms at the Hometown Inn and Suites on Mustang Road near J. Turner Butler Boulevard and Philips Highway. When officers arrived, they quickly responded to the third floor and found “obvious signs of foul play” outside one of the rooms.

Police called into the room, and when no one responded, they forced their way in and found a man dead inside. Police said the man, who appeared to be about 25 to 30 years old, had been shot multiple times. At least five bullet holes could be seen in a window of the room.

Detectives said there are no suspects and no witnesses at this point in the investigation, but surveillance footage from the hotel may help bridge the gap.

The Sheriff’s Office made prostitution arrests at the same hotel in February and June last year. News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said crooks will prey on victims at hotels but don’t usually stay in them -- at least under their legal names -- and they will avoid the official check-in process when possible.

“They don’t necessarily stay there because they have to give too much information. There are too many cameras when they’re checking in,” Jefferson said.

He also offered advice for anyone looking to book a hotel room.

“You really don’t know what type of place or what type of area -- particularly when you’re out of town, you’re traveling, you don’t know the logistics of certain areas,” Jefferson said. “So always lock your doors and your cars. Always check your hotel room before you go inside, before you go outside and begin to walk away from the area. Always check with the locals there who work at the hotel that you’re staying in to find out if it’s susceptible to crime."

Anyone with information on the deadly shooting is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477).

About the Authors: