JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An 18-year-old man was fatally shot Monday afternoon while riding in a car on Atlantic Boulevard in the Arlington area, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said.
Sgt. Adam Blinn, with the JSO Homicide Unit, said police and the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department were called about 2:15 p.m. to a shooting on Atlantic Boulevard. Blinn said they found a man suffering from a gunshot wound, and the man was taken to an area hospital, where he died from his injuries.
Investigators said it appeared the man was a passenger in a vehicle traveling east on Atlantic Boulevard when an unknown gunman fired about 12 shots into the passenger side of the vehicle, and one of those rounds struck the passenger. An update later posted on the JSO homicide database shows he was 18 years old, and his death is being investigated as a murder.
Blinn said the driver was not injured and was cooperating with investigators.
The shooter was seen leaving the scene in a black vehicle heading west on Atlantic Boulevard, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Blinn said investigators were interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence. He said casings were found that are commonly used in rifles.
“Rifle rounds have the potential to travel great distances and ricochet in any direction,” Blinn said.
Both police and News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said the shooting could have injured or killed others, especially since the weapon appears to be a rifle.
“I’m very surprised and relieved there were no other injuries involved in that because you got a heavily populated street with constant traffic going back and forth and you got a business right there," Jefferson said.
After the shooting, News4Jax cameras captured footage of a gray Dodge Challenger that appeared to have clipped a canopy and a parked car in front of the Rent-A-Wheel on Atlantic Boulevard, west of Southside Boulevard. Police cars had the road blocked off in front of the business, which was surrounded by crime scene tape.
Police did not confirm whether the Challenger was the vehicle that was shot at.
But a witness told News4Jax he heard gunfire and saw the man collapse on the ground after getting out of the crashed car. The witness said he helped the shooting victim before paramedics arrived. The witness said he believes the gunfire came from another car.
News4Jax also obtained surveillance video showing the Challenger pulling into the parking lot of the Rent-A-Wheel and crashing as a black car slows down before taking off. The area where the black car can be seen slowing down was the same area where police collected multiple rifle shell casings in the street.
Aiki Kouri, the owner of a store across the street, said he heard the shots and then he, his employees and customers took cover.
“Real rapid, loud gunfire. It seemed like maybe 12 to 15 shots,” Kouri said. “There was a couple here and the man grabs his wife and says, ‘Baby, hit the ground.’”
Another witness said he saw Challenger parked at a gas station for about 25 minutes, with both the passenger and driver inside. He said, moments after it left, he heard gunfire.
“Like, wow. I just saw these people,” one witness said. "It happened too fast.”
While it’s unclear what led up to the shooting, Jefferson said it did not appear to be a random act of violence.
“This is more than likely a targeted attack," he said.
Anyone with information about the deadly shooting 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).