LAKE CITY, Fla. – Five teenagers were injured Monday afternoon in a shooting in Lake City but are expected to survive, according to police.
Lake City Police Chief Gerald Butler said a vehicle was parked on Northwest Dixie Avenue when a white sedan pulled up, and there was some sort of argument. Then two people in ski masks got out of the white car and opened fire, Butler said.
The Lake City Police Department said officers were dispatched at 3:45 p.m. Monday to the intersection of NW Dixie Avenue and NW Wright Lane, where they found three teen boys suffering from gunshot wounds.
The teens were alert and talking but could not say who had fired the shots, police said.
First aid was administered to the teens, who were then taken by paramedics to a local hospital.
“Some stray rounds from the shooting hit some of the teenagers that were just up the street hanging around,” said Butler, who added that those teens did not appear to have been involved.
The vehicle that was shot up made it a few blocks to the intersection of NW Wilson Street and NW Alabama Terrace. Three teen boys were in the vehicle, and two were suffering from gunshot wounds.
“There were ski masks. They’re telling us they don’t know who was in the car. We’re not sure if there’s any kind of connection there. We’re still working those angles,” Butler said when asked whether those teens are cooperating.
First aid was also administered to those teens, who were then taken by paramedics to a hospital.
None of the teens’ injuries appeared life-threatening, and they are all expected to survive.
An elderly man said he was visiting a friend in the area when the shooting started. He said he heard about 30 shots. Nearby, a bullet went into the living room of a home where a woman was sleeping. She said she is not even safe inside her own house.
According to police, the scene was processed by Investigators from the Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division with the assistance of Crime Scene Technicians from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.
The police chief said that shell casings from semi-automatic guns were found at the scene and have been sent for ballistics testing and that the area is being saturated with patrols.
“We’re doing everything we can,” Butler said.
Police are asking residents to check their doorbell cameras and call them with any information they have.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact the Police Department at 386-752-4343. Anonymous tips can be made to the LCPD tip line at 386-719-2068 or Crime Stoppers of Columbia County at 386-754-7099.
Recent gun violence leaves residents terrified
Gun violence in Lake City reached a fever pitch with Monday’s attack in broad daylight. The shooting is the latest in a string of gunfire in a particular area of Lake City.
Local law enforcement is forming a task force to deal with a recent rash of gun violence as neighbors say they are living in fear.
Seven shootings since September have left 13 people injured and two men dead.
Butler said his officers and the Sheriff’s Office are beefing up patrols.
“We believe these recent shootings are all related, probably retaliation shootings,” Butler said.
Just last Thursday, three people were shot a few blocks away from the site of the violence Monday. One of the three died.
“We’ve formed a task force with the Sheriff’s Office. We’ve also spoken with FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) and I’ve been in contact with ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) and DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) asking for their assistance. We’re putting extra patrols into those areas,” Butler said. “[We’re] try[ing] and get a handle on what’s going on up there.”
Recent incidents of gun violence in Lake City:
- Oct. 28 and 30 – Three incidents of gunfire, two vehicles struck
- Oct. 8 – Two people shot on SE Dade Street
- Oct. 5 – Four incidents of gunfire, one home struck