NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. – The tables were turned on three armed robbers during a frightening break-in at a Neptune Beach apartment, as the person inside shot at the intruders, according to police.
Video from a Ring spotlight camera shows the confrontation at the Park Place Apartments on 3rd Street next to Jarboe Park. It happened at 5:51 p.m. Tuesday.
Neptune Beach police confirmed one man was shot in the chest and is at a hospital while the other two are still on the run.
In the video, three young men can be seen walking up the stairs to a second floor balcony. One uses his body to push in the door, while another puts on gloves. They are inside for roughly eight seconds when at least five gunshots can be heard.
Police told News4Jax the lone resident inside, an adult male, grabbed a gun and fired.
Moments later, the three other men run out of the front door. One of them jumps off the second floor balcony and onto the sidewalk below.
Surveillance images from a nearby parking lot show the men leaving in two getaway cars, a red Kia and a silver Pontiac. Police released the pictures of the cars and suspects hours after the shooting, asking for tips.
A short time after the break-in, one of the men showed up at an emergency room with a gunshot wound in the chest, according to Commander Mike Key with the Neptune Beach Police Department.
Wednesday afternoon, the lead detective on the case said investigators were following several leads in hopes of tracking down the two men who got away.
“No matter who you are, this is a very scary situation,” said News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson, a former Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office detective.
He reviewed the video showing the crime.
“This homeowner realizes he has the right to protect himself, and he pulls out his gun and he begins to fire,” Jefferson noted. “He’s well within justification to do that."
Jefferson said police have a lot on their side that will help solve the case, including good surveillance video. Investigators will question the man who was shot. That man was not identified, but he could be facing charges in addition to armed robbery, police said.
The resident who fired the shots is not facing any charges.
On Wednesday afternoon, police said they found the red car and identified the other one. They asked anyone with information that could help the case to contact Neptune Beach police at 904-270-2413 or First Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.