Mobile home park residents say footpaths allow for easy access, escape

2 men sought in home invasion shooting death

By Heather Leigh - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Neighbors in the Normandy Estates mobile home park on the Westside say enough is enough after 38-year-old Teodoro Rico (pictured below) was shot and killed Sunday night during a home invasion.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is still looking for the two men involved in the shooting, and neighbors say they aren't surprised because of the many foot paths leading out of the complex where people cut through.

Jimmy Stepp said it's not hard to get into Normandy Estates, even though there is only one "official" entrance.

"See where they cut the barbed wire, the fence line?" Stepp said. "See that? That's been cut. This was all put up not even a year ago, and look at it. It's all been snipped professionally with lock cutters, and just like this, we're in the trailer park. Come on around. Bam. You're in the back of the trailer park."

Stepp said it's just as easy to get out, too.

"When you're running and you got to get away, this is where you come, this is how you get out," Stepp said.

He said for the last few years people have been sneaking in through the paths and robbing people. Rico, a father of two, was killed Sunday night after two men tried to rob him. Police said the men followed him into a trailer and shot him.

Rico's sister-in-law said her dad was targeted recently.

"He was working under his car, trying to get his stuff, steal his stuff, and they were trying to hit him, too," said Kenia Aguilar. "But he was OK."

"See what I'm getting at? Any choice at these houses. They can just run in, come through, do what they got to do, come back out through this way, and by the time JSO gets in there, they're already here and gone by the time JSO gets inside," Stepp said.

He said he hopes police will continue to step up patrols in the neighborhood and that management will help tighten the gaps around the complex.

Neighbors on the outskirts of the complex said they have also noticed people walking through the paths but don't pay too much attention to who they are. One man said his garage had been burglarized, so he stepped up his security.

The mobile home park is holding a meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to discuss what happened Sunday night and get resident feedback on what to do next.

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