JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – An early Monday break-in at a Jacksonville Beach business ended in gunfire with one person shot, according to the Jacksonville Beach Police Department.
Officers were called to a burglary-in-progress at Atlantic Pro Divers, a business located near the intersection 3rd Street North and 14th Avenue North, shortly before 2:30 a.m. Monday, the police department said. When police arrived, they learned the business owner had shot the burglary suspect, who took off.
The burglary suspect, identified as 30-year-old Daniel Ifeanyi Nwobi, was found about a block away from the dive shop about 90 minutes later, according to police. Police said Nwobi was taken to Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville for a gunshot wound. He’s charged with burglary and criminal mischief.
The business owner told investigators he got a phone call shortly after 2:20 a.m. about a “glass break” inside the business, according to Nwobi’s arrest report. When he went by the dive shop to check it out, he said, he saw a white SUV he didn’t recognize parked outside. He said he fired a single round into the SUV as a warning shot.
Moments later, a stranger emerged from the business with something in hand, the owner told police. He said the stranger did not listen to his demands to get on the ground. The owner acknowledged firing his gun twice more, at which point the stranger yelled, “I’m bloody!” and ran off along 14th Avenue.
According to a copy of Nwobi’s arrest report, $1,500 in scuba gear was recovered from his vehicle.
Don Sheen, who owns Caddyshack Golf next door, said he spoke with the dive shop’s owner Monday morning. Among other things, Sheen said, the unnamed business owner lamented how things turned out.
“People work their whole lives for something and he wants to protect it and someone else is taking it, so it’s emotional,” Sheen told News4Jax. “But he acted the way he acted and I believe any other business owners would’ve acted the same way.”
Sheen said he saw a county employee trimming palms near the business, and one of the windows looked like it had been jimmied. Besides a few smash-and-grabs when he opened his business in 1995, he said, he has not had any problems with break-ins.
“Not at all,” Sheen said when asked if he was fazed by Monday’s incident.
A search of Duval County court records shows Nwobi recently completed court-ordered probation after pleading no contest in September 2019 to charges of dealing in stolen property and false verification of ownership on a pawn broker’s form. He was also found guilty in May 2019 of petit theft.