JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A teenage boy was shot Thursday morning at an apartment complex off Collins Road, just east of Interstate 295, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
The teen, who News4Jax learned is a Westside High School student, was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, police said.
Police said they didn’t have a description of the shooter, but detectives were talking to witnesses. Police were initially called shortly after 6:30 a.m. to the Westside complex because of multiple reports of gunfire and found the older teenage boy at the complex entrance.
One neighbor said he heard as many as three shots fired, and after calling 911, he ran outside. He said he and another person tried to help the victim. It turns out the witness is stationed in Jacksonville with the United States Navy and has medical training.
“He was still alive and screaming. We just immediately did what we could to control the bleeding,” Aaron Pruneda said. “The cops and the ambulance seemed like they were pretty much around the corner. They showed up right after I had gotten outside.”
Keishaun Morris, who lives at the apartment complex, said he didn’t know about the violence until his father called him.
“I was actually getting up to go get ready for work, and my dad was calling me. He was, like, ‘Hey, are you OK? I just heard somebody got shot.’ And I was, like, ‘Really? I didn’t even hear any guns,’” Morris said. “So I came out here and everything was taped off and blocked off. And I was like, wow, that’s really different. I wouldn’t expect that to happen over here.”
On Thursday afternoon, News4Jax obtained a message that was sent to Westside High families about what happened.
“You may already be aware from news reports that one of our students was seriously impacted by an act of violence earlier today. Our entire school community is disheartened by this news, and we’re praying and hoping for a thorough recovery for the student,” the message said.
The message goes on to say specially trained counselors and social workers will be on campus Friday to provide support to students and staff who need it.
According to News4Jax records, this is at least the seventh person under 18 in Jacksonville who has been shot this year.
Anyone with information about Thursday’s shooting is asked to call JSO at 904-630-0500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can submit anonymous tips by contacting Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477).