Father used body to shield 3-year-old son during drive-by shooting, relative says

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Gang Unit is investigating the case

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office suspects a shooting at an intersection that left three people in a car including a 3-year-old wounded was targeted, and the JSO Gang Unit has been notified, according to an investigative report News4JAX obtained Thursday.

According to the 3-year-old’s grandmother, the boy’s mother and father were the other two people in the vehicle. She said the boy’s father, her son, jumped into the back seat and used his body to shield the boy.

At her request and for her safety, News4JAX is not identifying the grandmother, who had a message for the shooter.

“You don’t care nothing about life. You don’t care nothing about that baby,” she said. “You’re a coward.”

The shooting happened Wednesday afternoon near the intersection of Soutel Drive and Ribault Avenue.

All three are expected to survive. The woman said Thursday afternoon that her son was undergoing surgery.

“He got hit from the legs on down, all down his back,” she said.

She said both her son and grandson had to have surgery. The child’s mother did not.

No arrests were announced as of Thursday night. There’s no clear description of the shooter’s vehicle.

Anyone with information is urged to contact First Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

About the Author:

Renee Beninate is a Florida native and award-winning reporter who joined the News4Jax team in June 2021.