NOCATEE, Fla. – A person and a child are dead after being found shot in a home in a Nocatee neighborhood, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.
Sources told News4JAX that it was a murder-suicide.
News4JAX learned Friday afternoon that Sheriff’s Office investigators and crime scene technicians had responded to Bucktail Avenue, north of Nocatee Parkway, in the Twenty Mile neighborhood where two people were found shot.
The Sheriff’s Office told News4JAX that deputies were called a little after 12 p.m. to a residence “in reference to suicide threats.” Deputies said they breached the home and found a person, who sources identified as a man, dead with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Deputies also said they found a child with a gunshot wound nearby. Multiple sources first told News4JAX that the child was critically wounded, and the Sheriff’s Office later announced that the child died at a hospital.
The street was blocked off with crime scene tape as the Sheriff’s Office’s Major Crimes Unit investigated. The scene initially focused on one house and later expanded to encompass what looked like 10 houses. Investigators could be seen going door to door and talking with neighbors.
“This is a very tight-knit community,” said resident Wendy Moroni. “Everyone knows everyone. We just got a Facebook post for everyone to turn off their Christmas lights, you know, as respect. So we’re all feeling the loss, significantly.”
John Moroni said he and the child who died were classmates.
“I even started becoming, like, friends with her at the start of the year,” he said.
Residents said the family is in their prayers.
“She is so loved, and we are embracing her with our prayers. We can’t even fathom what she must be feeling right now. But just to know that there are people that love them and praying for them and there’s a lot of moms here that’s feeling really heavy,” Wendy Moroni said.
The Sheriff’s Office said this is believed to be an isolated incident and there is no threat to the public.
The agency went on to say it encourages anyone who is struggling to reach out for help.
“There are many local resources to include Here Tomorrow, The National Alliance for Mental Illness, and Epic Behavioral Health,” the Sheriff’s Office said.
In addition, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached by calling 988 or visiting 988lifeline.org.