JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two men and a woman were killed late Monday night at a Northwest Jacksonville apartment complex and four teenagers were taken into custody after the pursuit of a stolen car that police saw leaving the area, authorities said.
The shooting happened about 11:50 p.m. at Calloway Cove Apartments, off West Moncrief Road near Cleveland Road.
A Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Sheriff’s Office homicide detective said its Gang Unit was working an assignment near the apartment complex when officers heard gunfire nearby and spotted a vehicle that looked like it was fleeing the scene.
The vehicle, which police say was reported stolen out of Clay County, led officers on a chase for several miles before it was eventually brought stopped by an officer using a PIT maneuver.
Police said they took four people into custody and recovered guns from the vehicle. The investigation led officers back to Building E at the complex where they found three people shot to death in an apartment.
According to multiple sources, there are five suspects, some of them minors including a 14-year-old. Sources identified one of the suspects as 18-year-old Keon Lester, who’s charged one count of murder and one count of criminal conspiracy in a life or first-degree felony crime.
A neighbor told News4Jax she heard what sounded like an estimated 20-30 gunshots at the complex early Tuesday.
News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said the presence of JSO’s Gang Unit will be key to the case.
“The gang squad happened to be in the area, already obviously investigating gang activity, and very fortunate to hear the gunshots when they went off, otherwise you’d have to have a response time for units to get there and these suspects that fled the scene would’ve been long gone,” Jefferson said.
#UPDATE: A neighbor estimated she heard between 20 to 30 shots being fired at the Calloway Cove apartments. JSO says Gang Unit was in the area when they also heard the shots, followed a car seen speeding away from the area.@wjxt4 pic.twitter.com/gbEMByJVka— WJXT Ashley Harding (@WJXTAshleyH) February 9, 2021
The apartment complex is about three blocks from where a 19-year-old was shot and killed last month. Police said over 100 people were in the area at the time, but no one has come forward with information about the case.
The area has wrestled with violent crime for years. In 2015, Jacksonville City Council named 4229 Moncrief Road as one of the top locations in the city you were most likely to be a victim of a violent crime.
In 2018, Millennia Companies bought the complex at 4229 W. Moncrief Road and spent $10.6 million on renovations. A spokesperson for the company issued a statement to News4Jax in response to Monday’s violence.
“We are saddened by this violence and sympathize with those affected by the incident,” the statement said in part. “Our property management and leadership teams are deeply engaged in responding to this event and cooperating with law enforcement officials as they continue their investigation. For those who may need help coping during this difficult time, we have made counselors available for residents and staff.”
Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office by calling 904-630-0500 or via email at JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.