JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After nearly two weeks of investigation into the shooting death of a 19-year-old man, Jacksonville police are asking the public for help finding out who opened fire during a large fight.
Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Director of Investigations Mike Bruno said Monday that the fight occurred after two girls got into a dispute on social media on Jan. 26. They agreed to meet on Ken Knight Drive about 6:30 p.m. and the fight attracted dozens -- either to participate or to watch. Bruno estimated 100 people were present when gunshots went off and “sheer chaos” ensued.
“I had the door open, and I heard all the screaming, the most crazy squeals and shrills I have never heard before in my life,” said Cheryl Curry, who lives in the neighborhood.
Loved ones identified the man shot and killed as Larry Tould.
“Larry was the life of the party,” said Tould’s friend, Danielle Armstrong. “You saw him, see his smile, hear his squeaky voice and he’s always dancing.”
AT 10: I spoke w/ a close friend of 19 yo Larry Tould. He was killed near Ken Knight Drive on Jan 26th. after shots were fired during a large fight that started bc 2 high schoolers argued on social media. His loved ones want witnesses to speak up. @wjxt4 https://t.co/9HIoL6txD3 pic.twitter.com/jqF95CvRlz— Corley Peel (@WJXT_CorleyPeel) February 9, 2021
The last text Armstrong sent to Tould asked simply what he was doing.
“He normally responds or calls me. What are you doing? Where are you at? Come outside. And I didn’t get a response,” Armstrong said.
Two weeks later, no arrests have been announced.
“They need to come forward,” Armstrong said. “Whoever all is involved, you all need to come forward.”
Detectives have had little to no cooperation from witnesses, either because of a reluctance to cooperate with the police or fear of retaliation. Bruno said law enforcement needs community engagement to solve cases like this and lamented that “there’s got to be one person there” who’s willing to help get justice for the victim.
He said if someone had alerted JSO to the social media posts ahead of time, the murder might have been prevented.
Bruno said people can remain anonymous either by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS or the Gun Bounty tip line using the same number. In addition to suspect information, police are looking for additional posts or social media videos that could help.