Woman crashes into ditch as she tries to escape gunfire in neighborhood

2 young men targeted took cover behind passing car, then ran off, JSO says

By Vic Micolucci - I-TEAM reporter, anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A woman trying to escape gunfire in her Woodland Acres neighborhood Wednesday crashed into a ditch and the two young men who were the targets of the shooting ran off, Jacksonville police said.

Lt. David Hall said police were called to the area of Jasper Avenue and Acme Street just before 1 p.m. after reports that a car had been hit by gunfire.

A News4Jax crew in the area heard gunshots and arrived along with a rescue unit.

Hall said the two young men, possibly in their late teens, were walking down Acme Street when someone opened fire on them from the corner of Jasper and Acme.

He said the teens took cover behind the woman's car as she drove by, and then she popped it in reverse, trying to escape the shooting. She ended up in the ditch while the pair, who have not been identified, ran off.

Hall said the woman was not hit by gunfire and there's no evidence that either youth was hit.

He said one bullet went through the woman's windshield and another through the driver's side door. Hall admitted the woman was lucky to be alive.

“She's shaken up," he said. “It went into the driver's side door. That's close enough.”

Her family came to the scene to comfort her and took her home after officers interviewed her.

Hall said no one returned fire during the incident.

Woodland Acres Elementary School and the North Florida School for Special Education were locked down while officers searched the area but the lockdowns were lifted before school let out, Hall said. Police said students were not in danger.

A police helicopter searched for the shooter from the air as officers on the ground looked for evidence.

Hall said with few leads in the case, investigators will need the public's help to find the shooter.

"Without your help, there's a good chance this will go unsolved," Hall said.

Anyone with information about the shooting can call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

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