JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The victim of a possible kidnapping was found safe Saturday night, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. The woman’s disappearance is believed to be connected to a deadly shooting early that morning on Jacksonville’s Westside.
Police said the investigation will continue as they try to identify a suspect in the murder and possible kidnapping.
Detectives said a man and woman were reportedly taken by two men from Palmer Avenue, just off Lake Shore Drive, about 10:30 p.m. Friday. According to the caller who reported the kidnapping, the pair was taken to get information on the location of the man who was found dead of a gunshot wound early Saturday morning on Retaw Street, only a block from where the two people were kidnapped.
At 5 a.m. Saturday, video surveillance shows a man who police believe is the driver in the case at a nearby gas station. Less than 30 minutes later, police were called to Retaw and Appleton Avenue and found a man in his 40s with a gunshot wound in the grass next to a yellow bicycle.
“We heard low-power gunshots, four or five, coming from the north side of the neighborhood,” resident Chris Lovett told News4Jax.
After the shooting, the suspects fled the area and dropped off the kidnapped man but refused to allow the woman to go free, police said.
At 2:17 p.m. Saturday, JSO put out a photo of a woman they believe was kidnapped and a photo of the man who police believe is the driver of the four-door black Dodge Ram involved.
At 9:45 p.m. Saturday, police announced they found the woman safe and said the investigations into her kidnapping and the murder are still active.
Police are asking people for help identifying one of the men who is believed to have been the driver involved in the incident. He was driving a four-door black Dodge Ram. His picture is at the top of this article.
The last known address for the possibly kidnapped woman was a vacant lot where a home used to be. News4Jax spoke with the woman’s mother but she didn’t want to comment.
Anyone who has any information on the kidnapping or shooting is asked to immediately contact the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward of up to $3,000, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
Neighbors said the man who was killed lived in the area. They said they heard at least four gunshots early Saturday morning.
Witnesses told police they saw a man running after shots were fired. Detectives do not know if he is a suspect.
Investigators could be seen using metal detectors to canvass the area and going door-to-door speaking with neighbors and checking for any surveillance video.
A woman said she also heard the gunshots and was shocked by the situation.
“This is a quiet neighborhood. This is a family neighborhood especially this block here on Appleton, so, yeah, it makes me uncomfortable,” so the woman, who asked not to be identified.
Detectives said tips are critical to help find the shooter.
If you know anything, call the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500 or CrimeStoppers at 866-845-TIPS.