Man killed, 2nd shot outside Westside nightclub

Jacksonville police continue to process scene nearly 12 hours after shooting

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Police continued to process a large crimes scene around a Westside nightclub where one man was shot and killed and a second injured about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

West Beaver Street remained closed until just after 1 p.m. while police searched for evidence, including bullets that struck cars in the parking lot and even a nearby house.

Jacksonville police said the victims were in a fight inside the Silver Fox Lounge on West Beaver Street. Witnesses said that the gunfire started immediately after the men were kicked out.

Their identities were not released, but police said the man killed was in his early 20s, and the other man was shot in the face and was in serious condition at UF Health Jacksonville.

The wounded man's family contacted News4Jax to say he was an innocent bystander who caught a stray bullet.

Police say they had to interview 20 to 30 witnesses who were at the club at the time. Many of the people had to wait to get their cars from the parking lot or leave them there overnight because some of the cars were struck by gunfire and a part of the investigation.

A woman whose cousin works at the club said many of the employees came back for their cars to get their cars after police cleared parts of the scene.

News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said the shooting probably happened outside because weapons aren't allowed inside.

"More than likely, they didn't have any weapons inside the club because, in a lot of clubs like this, they search people," Smith said. "They do body searches to make sure no one comes in with weapons, because sometimes you do have altercations like that."

Smith said police are using all their resources to figure out what happened.

"They may have surveillance video; there may have been witnesses outside; maybe people just going down the streets who may have seen something or there could have been some conversation about what someone was threatening to do inside the club," Smith said.

The person who moved into the business across the street just two days ago was shaken by the shooting.

“There had been some reports, I heard from the previous owners about finding a bullet hole or two in the wall, which again does concern me, but it won’t be anyone here at risk because we are not open during those hours," said Anthony Knighton. “We had always planned on putting lights and security cameras around the property as part of our development, so hopefully things will be OK."

Lounge has violent history

According to News4Jax records, there have been numerous shootings at the Sliver Fox, including two last year.

In January 2015, 22-year-old Donnell Joseph was found dead in the parking lot, after shots were fired about 2:30 a.m. on a Saturday, according to police. In May of last year, a security guard was shot in the back while closing up for the night. 

In 2010, a man shot another man outside the strip club, leaving the victim in critical condition, police said.

In 2002, 30-year-old Willie Freeman was shot in the club's parking lot and later died. Police said 35-year-old Michael Frederick came back to the scene and showed police the gun he used to shoot Freeman.

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