7 people shot at Eureka Gardens complex

Police search for 3 possible shooters

By Ashley Harding - Reporter, Jenese Harris - Reporter/anchor, Heather Leigh - Reporter, Francesca Amiker - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Police are reviewing security footage at the Eureka Gardens apartment complex after they said three gunmen fired more than 50 rounds into a group of people early Monday morning.

Seven people were hit. Two of the people shot were in critical condition at UF Health Jacksonville and five others were listed in stable condition. Police said there was an infant in the group of people, but the child was not hurt.

Sgt. Shawn Coarsey of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said a group of eight to 10 people were sitting outside one of the apartment buildings when three men approached and opened fire with a rifle and a pistol.

No information is available about any of the people who were shot or about the gunmen.

"We don't know if it's gang-related at this point. Obviously, we're looking into that, but I would assume that someone knew someone, because they targeted this group of people for a reason," said Coarsey.

Police said the gunmen were captured by one of the 20 to 25 surveillance cameras at the complex.  Video shows the gunmen firing shots near Building 7, an area heavily populated with families.

News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said the footage could help police determine if the gunmen came from off the property or not.

"These incidents quite often occur with people that don't live on property. They are coming (from) off-site and coming onto property,” Smith said. “They already have their own private security force here that creates a database of people that don't live on property. That way, when incidents happen, they can share that with the Sheriff’s Office.”

Mayor Lenny Curry called Sheriff Mike Williams as soon as he heard about the shooting Monday. He said he's very concerned about the violence and "remains vigilant in his efforts to improve public safety."

Eureka Gardens residents angry, frustrated after mass shooting

News4Jax also spoke with concerned residents in the community, who said the apartment complex on Labelle Street needs more security. 

After Monday's mass shooting, Eureka Gardens resident Mona Lisa Arnold said enough is enough.

VIDEO: Residents demand change after mass shooting

"It was about 100 rounds of ammunition. And I ran in the hall and I was praying, saying, 'Lord, just shield me,'" Arnold said. "We have children and they don't have any remorse for the children, the elderly, disabled people, no one."

Darlene Ball, who also lives at Eureka Gardens, said the complex needs more security, with one way in and one way out, and more activities for children.

"It was innocent people on that porch and these bullets don't know nobody. Bullets don't have no name. They could have went in my daughter's house. It could have went in any neighbor's house. So I hope and pray that they will stop this violence," Ball said. "Sometimes we see kids out here and they have to run for cover because of all the domestic violence out here. And they go through a lot. These kids go through a lot."

Tracy Grant, president of the Eureka Gardens Tenant Association, talked about what she feels need to happen at the complex. 

"People don't know how to talk anymore," Grant said. "They just don't know how to have good communication and resolve issues. It's not all people. But when you have issues and you don't know how to resolve them, or just walk away from the situation, that's a problem."

Grant said she's going door to door, hoping to convince anyone with information to talk to police.

“Right now, we need information. We need these people that shot seven people off the streets,” Grant said. “It's not fair. We have to live terrified, because they could come back.”

Arnold will be collecting school supplies to pass out to children inside the apartment complex at 3 p.m. Thursday, to help them go back to school and forget about the crime in their backyard. Anyone wishing to donate may contact Arnold at 904-762-6450.

Anyone who has any information on Monday's shooting is asked to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward up to $3,000, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

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