JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The man who was sought by authorities in connection to an Amber Alert for an 8-year-old boy has been charged with murder in a triple homicide at an Arlington apartment complex, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
Police said three people were found dead at the River City Landing Apartments this morning, which are just north of River Road, across from the Jacksonville University campus.
The Amber Alert was later issued for an 8-year-old boy, who was last seen at the same address. The alert said he had been kidnapped and was believed to be with 37-year-old Terrell Lewis, later determined to be the boy’s father.
According to JSO, Lewis was booked just after 8:30 p.m. Friday on three counts of second-degree murder.
Family members told News4JAX that the child’s mother was one of the victims found at the apartment. News4JAX learned Lewis was named in a 2016 domestic violence injunction obtained by the mother of his then-2-year-old child, which is the boy that was the subject of Friday’s Amber Alert.
Lt. Mike Silcox, with JSO’s investigations division, said officers were called about 7:30 a.m. to a welfare check at the apartment complex. A 911 caller said a neighbor heard an argument and a loud noise, Silcox said.
When police arrived, according to Silcox, they found three adults, ranging in age from 25 to 30, dead of gunshot wounds.
Tina Penn, a cousin News4JAX spoke with, said things took a turn for worse when they realized they didn’t know where her 8-year-old cousin was.
“My aunt, which is their mother, she called and said she couldn’t get in contact with any of them and that there was a killing out here -- that three people got killed in the apartments where they live and to go out there to find out what’s going on,” Penn said. “That’s when I came out there to see what was happening and it’s them.”
Video from Sky4 showed what appeared to be the vehicle that was sought in the Amber Alert -- a black Suzuki Forenza -- being towed from an apartment complex on Atlantic Boulevard near Pottsburg Creek. It’s about four miles away from the scene of the murder.
News4JAX spoke with the woman who called 911 after spotting the car.
“I was just sitting in my room watching tv and I got an Amber Alert on my phone, and usually I don’t pay much mind to them, but something told me to look,” she said.
She spotted a black car outside, and compared the license plate with the one on the car sought by investigators, realizing it was a match.
“Then we gave the call. We saw some police show up and from there the guy was handcuffed and the child seemed to be safe so that was good,” the woman continued.
After the Sheriff’s Office said both were located, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement later tweeted, saying the issue was resolved and the child was found safe just before 4 p.m. The alert was first issued just before 2:30 p.m.
Lewis is expected to make a court appearance Saturday morning. It was unclear Friday night who was caring for the 8-year-old.