2 men shot, killed in Hyde Park apartment complex

By Ashley Harding - Reporter, Jim Piggott - Reporter, Crystal Chen - Assignment editor/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Police are investigating the shooting deaths of two men before dawn Thursday at the Magnolia Terrace Apartments.

Neighbors reported hearing several gunshots from the Hyde Park complex on the Westside about 4:44 a.m., according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

When officers arrived on Jammes Road, just off San Juan Avenue, two men were found dead in the parking lot with gunshot wounds. A homicide detective said witnesses saw two men in hoodies fleeing the scene.

The victims' names have not been released.

Several neighbors said they heard a burst of 10 to 15 gunshots, then a pause, then another 10 to 15 shots fired.

By late morning, evidence technicians had deployed 24 evidence markers in the parking lot and a white sedan apparently connected to the investigation was towed away.

"It scared me to death. I ran out to the front of the road, thinking someone was going to run through my backyard," said Gregory Johnson, who lives nearby. "I called 911 and she already said she had several calls."

One young woman who lives in the complex said the deaths are not only disturbing, they are senseless.

"They don't even think about the families," Rosalyn Cox said. "Somebody lost a mother. Somebody lost a father, a son, a brother, uncle. That's the part that really hurts me."

Many people who live at Magnolia Terrace did not want to give interviews, but did say there's a lot of drug dealing in the area.

"This is the wild, wild Westside. I do not feel safe over here with all of the guns and violence (that is) happening," said Tom Bauman, who lives near the apartments.

A woman who lives in the complex said she's afraid she may know the victims and fears for her safety.

"We're elderly people. So only thing we're trying to do is be safe and everything, and there's a lot of people around here who do things that they have no business doing," the woman said. "I feel like we need security."

Police spent the morning canvassing the area looking for other witnesses. Anyone with information about the double shooting is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 866-845-TIPS.

This was the second fatal shooting before dawn Thursday that Jacksonville police were investigating. Detective said a man was shot and killed inside an apartment off Century 21 Drive, and there was evidence of forced entry to the unit.

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