JSO: Man subdued by K-9, stunned after killing Westside resident in ‘random’ shooting

Suspect hospitalized in critical but stable condition, Jacksonville police say

A man was subdued by a K-9, stunned by officers and critically injured after he killed a Westside resident in what detectives described as a “random” shooting Thursday morning, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man was subdued by a K-9, stunned by officers and critically injured after he killed a Westside resident in what detectives described as a “random” shooting Thursday morning, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

JSO Chief of Investigations said Brian Kee said that around 9 a.m., 911 callers reported gunshots in a wooded area between Wesconnett Boulevard and Pernecia Drive. Kee said a man armed with a rifle was firing shots, and when another man exited his home on Pernecia Drive to see what the gunfire was about, the resident was shot and killed.

“Right now, we don’t have a motive. We don’t know why,” Kee said at a news conference Thursday afternoon. “We don’t believe that these two knew each other.”

Around the time of the killing, according to Kee, another resident was calling police and lowering his blinds when he made contact with the shooter, who then fired rounds toward that person’s home, as well. That resident was not hit, Kee said.

Police and K-9 officers arrived at the scene and located the gunman, who was believed to be lying on his rifle, according to Kee. He said a K-9 engaged the man, who began to fight the dog.

“Striking him, potentially trying to gouge them, gouge his eyes,” Kee said. “Officers then try to get him handcuffed while the K-9 was trying to apprehend him. He was kicking and punching.”

Police then used a stun gun on the man, Kee said. After a struggle, according to Kee, the man was handcuffed and taken into custody. He was transported to a hospital, where he was reportedly in critical but stable condition at last check.

The Jacksonville sheriff’s Office says police are trying to figure out why a man started shooting in a neighborhood on the Westside and killed a resident on Thursday.

According to JSO, he is charged with attempted murder and three counts of aggravated assault on law enforcement officers and has a murder charge pending. Kee said at the Thursday afternoon briefing that the man had still not been positively identified.

No officers were hurt in the incident, News4JAX was told.

Kee said this appears to be a random incident.

“We’re still doing the background to figure out what, why this individual did these things. We have no idea, but we are looking into it and, obviously, very curious as to what the motive was,” Kee said. “But it does appear random. There’s no connection that we can find at this point so far.”

News4JAX saw one of the police K-9s leaving the scene around 11 a.m. as more detectives arrived. When the Sky 4 helicopter flew over the scene around noon, multiple police cruisers were still at the scene.

Multiple police cruisers can be seen Thursday morning on Jacksonville's Westside. (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

A woman who lives nearby said she heard the gunshots.

“When I heard it, it scared me,” said Kyria Thomas. “Four hard rounds. They were stronger than fireworks, and that’s what made me wonder, ‘Oh, maybe not.’ I just kind of walked my little property to see what was going on then I walked back in the house. And then later a couple of minutes, 10 or so minutes later, I heard some more.”

Thomas said she never hears gunshots in the neighborhood.

Why would someone be shooting out here? We don’t have this. I’ve been here about five years and I’ve never encountered this chaos or this disturbance in our neighborhood,” she said. “I’m able to keep my garage door open because it’s safe, it’s quiet, so this was very startling to me.”

Neighbors along Pernecia and Joy drives were also in shock.

“I thought, ‘What in the world?’” Alice Stine said.

News4JAX got an email from someone that translates to: “We are the parents of the person who was seriously injured in Pernecia Jacksonville. You have news of how our son is. Nobody has been able to give us information and we are desperate. We will travel from Puerto Rico to Jacksonville without knowing which hospital to arrive at.”

News4JAX asked the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department which hospital the man was taken to, but it couldn’t release that information due to privacy laws.

Aerial footage from the Sky 4 helicopter shows multiple police cruisers on Jacksonville's Westside on Thursday. (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

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