‘We take it very seriously’: 12-year-old Jacksonville girl critically injured in shooting

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After a child was critically injured early Friday morning in a shooting in the Ribault area of Northwest Jacksonville, detectives were hard at work to find any leads on who pulled the trigger.

Assistant Chief J.D. Stronko said police were called to the area of Ken Knight Drive East, north of Moncrief Road West, at 2:18 a.m. Friday and first responders found a 12-year-old girl suffering from a gunshot wound.

He said she was being treated at the hospital for life-threatening injuries and was in critical condition but since has gotten out of surgery.

Stronko said early indications were that she had been shot once in the torso, but investigators were still trying to confirm that with medical personnel.

The girl’s mother told News4JAX that her daughter was at the wrong place at the wrong time. She said her daughter was an innocent bystander who got hit during a gun battle.

The mother also said a person involved in the shooting lives in the Calloway Cove Apartment complex next door. The police have not confirmed either claim.

Stronko said early indications were that she had been shot once in the torso, but investigators were still trying to confirm that with medical personnel.

Stronko said the girl was found in a cut-through area between the Washington Heights Estates townhomes and the adjacent Calloway Cove Apartment complex.

It’s unknown if the girl was with other people, if she was targeted, or if she was a bystander.

Detectives’ main task is hunting down any possible surveillance video and speaking to witnesses. They were seen going door to door and talking with people, hoping to find anyone who could shed light on the shooting.

Stronko said investigators believe there are people in the area who have information about what happened and they are asking for them to come forward.

A neighbor explained what she witnessed when the girl’s mother came banging at her door.

“I heard a banging on my door. I’m like, ‘Okay, what’s going on?’ I run downstairs. Come out. Police everywhere. I ran down there in the cut where it happened, and she was laying on the ground bleeding,” the woman said.

Police have not said what led up to the shooting and how man people are involved is also unclear. There is not suspect information as well.

Anyone with information can call JSO at 904-630-0500 or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

“Obviously, we take it very seriously. The sheriff stated earlier this week that this is not going to be tolerated,” Stronko said of another child being injured by gunfire in Jacksonville. “We’re not going to rest until we’re able to solve this one.”

Sheriff T.K. Waters held a briefing Wednesday to announce the arrest of two teens charged in a shooting that critically injured a 9-year-old girl in Northwest Jacksonville last month.

“We are fortunate that this didn’t result in a death, but it’s still just as angering and frustrating, so we’re not going to tolerate it,” Waters said of the 9-year-old’s shooting. “I don’t care how old (the shooters) are, and I don’t care for what reason.”

About the Authors:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.