Police search for shooter in Westside robbery

Victim shot in head expected to recover; No description of gunman

By Crystal Moyer - Traffic/reporter , Ashley Harding - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A man was shot in the head on the Westside early Thursday morning by a man who was trying to rob him, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Around 12:15 a.m. a man was walking west on Catoma Boulevard, off 118th Street, when he was approached by a man trying to take his backpack, according to JSO.

"A struggle ensued between the two subjects, the suspect and the victim, at which time the victim was shot," said Sgt. Penny Lewis. "He was then transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect is still outstanding."

The gunman took off with the victim's money, and police don't have any specifics on the gunman's description at this time.

The victim is in stable condition and recovering at UF Health Jacksonville.

According to the police report, the victim at first didn't realized he'd been shot and thought he'd been hit in the head with the gun.

"It doesn't surprise me, to be honest with you. There's been shootings," said Doug Smith, a resident of the neighborhood where the man was shot. "You hear gunshots all the time, up and down the road. It's pretty disturbing."

Timucuan Elementary School is less than 500 feet away from where the incident took place and many people in the area are worried.

News4Jax Crime and Safety Analyst Gil Smith said there are several precautions people can take to avoid being a target.

He said most robberies take place between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m., and if possible, people shouldn't walk alone during those hours. If someone feels threatened, he or she should make as much noise as possible, Smith said.

And he advised that it's better to just give up your stuff if you're being robbed.

"You should assume that the person has a weapon," Smith said. "Sometime in these situations, even when they have a weapon, sometimes the weapon isn't loaded. Believe it or not, they don't want to accidentally hurt someone. But don't think that way, all weapons are always loaded. That's what you should be thinking."

Anyone who witnessed activity in the area or has any information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 866-845-TIPS.

Copyright 2014 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.