Police: 2 shot in exchange of gunfire down street from Stanton

College prep high school placed on lockdown as precaution

By Vic Micolucci - I-TEAM reporter, anchor, Zachery Lashway - Reporter/anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Two people were shot during an exchange of gunfire late Friday morning in the Durkeeville neighborhood, prompting a lockdown at nearby Stanton College Preparatory School, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said. 

According to police, ShotSpotter detected five gunshots about 11:30 a.m. at West 16th Street and Myrtle Avenue from what was believed to have been an exchange of gunfire. The crime scene around the police investigation stretched for blocks, past homes, a store, a church and the city's top academic magnet high school.

At least one Duval County School Board police car was at one end of the crime scene, but school officials said the lockdown was precautionary.

"Stanton is close by, but the school’s grounds were never involved and there was never a threat to the school in any way," Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Lt. Alan Parker said.

Police said two men were taken to UF Health Jacksonville in private cars. It's uncertain how bad their injuries are, which police said will determine how soon they can be interviewed.

According to the Sheriff's Office, there are no outstanding suspects and it's unknown what the altercation was about. Detectives will be looking to see whether there's any surveillance video. 

Stanton was placed under a code red lockdown as soon as gunfire was heard. A Duval County Public Schools spokeswoman said the lockdown was precautionary, and by 1 p.m. it was reduced to code yellow, which allowed normal classroom activity but limited movement within the school. School dismissed on time at 2:55 p.m.

"At first, we thought it was a drill," senior Onija Davis said. "We have to close all the windows. We had to sit outside the office because we couldn’t be near the windows."

Residents in the area say the area near the school is usually respected as a safe zone.

"Everybody knows they can walk up and down the street without being involved in violence like that, but anywhere outside the skirts of Stanton, it’s any man’s territory," Jay Coleman said.

Cedric Solomon, who has lived in the area his entire life, credits JSO's ShotSpotter technology with reducing crime.

"I can sit out here at night, and the streetlights are new, so they light it up real good," Solomon said. "And we have a shots fired machine up there on the pole, so if someone is shooting around here, police are on the way."

Detectives continue to investigate. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477).

This was the first of three shootings reported Friday in Jacksonville. Police said a 16-year-old boy was wounded in a shooting Friday afternoon near Tallyrand, and another person was shot and killed at an apartment complex on the city's Southside.

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