Homes, cars sprayed with bullets in Sandalwood

Jacksonville police say they were riddled with gunfire during drive-by

By Corley Peel - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - People living along a street in Jacksonville's Sandalwood neighborhood woke up Wednesday morning to find homes and cars riddled with bullet holes.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said it happened during a drive-by shooting about 11 p.m. Tuesday on Seabury Place North.

Samer Abuayysh said he heard gunshots that night and didn't think anything of it.

"I heard maybe 20 of them," Abuayysh told News4Jax on Wednesday. "I thought it YouTube, changing commercials. I did not care."

But the next morning, he discovered bullet holes in the walls of his kitchen and living room. Bullets were shot through the glass window in his kitchen, and one of the bullets went straight through his refrigerator. 

Other neighbors said they immediately took cover when they heard the gunshots.

"We just heard gunfire, just shooting," resident Janele Carmichael said. "Him and I dropped straight to the ground and we didn't know at the moment that our house had been shot."

According to the incident report, three cars were hit by bullets. Neighbors told News4Jax at least two homes were also shot up. A utility box was also hit and a driver hit a mailbox.

"I started to hear a popping noise, thinking that maybe it was a firecracker or something," resident Carrie Voelker said. "But it kept going and going after, like, 10 rounds."

According to the report, neighbors told police that shots were fired from two cars -- a silver four-door sedan and a black four-door sedan, possibly a Ford Edge.  

Police said they found 15 shell casings from .40-caliber and 9 mm guns.

“Our neighborhood was never like this," Carmichael said. "Never."

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Abuayysh  said the shootings in Jacksonville are getting out of hand. 

"I hope it doesn't happen again, especially while I'm here," he said.

Abuayysh added that he's just relieved no one was hurt. 

According to the Sheriff's Office's crime map, there have been a handful of assaults, thefts, vandalism, car thefts and break-ins reported in the last month within a mile of Seabury Place North.

Neighbors said the crime is getting worse and they hope something can be done about it. 

Anyone with information about Tuesday evening's drive-by is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

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