Police say man was murdered at Spring Park playground

20-year-old killed as children played nearby, Jacksonville police say

By Allyson Henning - Reporter, Destiny McKeiver - Multi-media journalist

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 20-year-old man was shot and killed Sunday in a playground where children were playing near Spring Park Elementary School, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Police said Lamonte Dabney was killed about 1:20  p.m. while children were on the playground. Police tape blocked off Spring Park Road where police spent most of the afternoon investigating.

Homicide detectives said Dabney got into an argument with someone they didn't know while walking to the park with his girlfriend and her 6-year-old daughter. Police said three to five minutes later, that unknown man walked into the park and continued to argue with Dabney.

At one point, the unknown man pulled a gun and shot Dabney several times, then took off running north on Spring Park Road. Police said they don't believe the shooting was random.

Dabney's girlfriend, Leeanndra Members, said they lived near the playground and were with him at the park when he was shot. She said he had moved to Jacksonville from Flushing, Michigan, one year ago.

"If anybody knows anything, please, please, please tell someone," Members pleaded as she put a memorial on the site where Dabney was shot Sunday. "Please call the police, the detectives, anybody."

Members said Dabney had taken on a parenting role with her daughters.

"My children and I are really, really hurting and we would really, really like to be at peace," Members said. "Please say something."

Detectives searched the area Sunday afternoon and looked for witnesses. Police are asking for anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.

Police said the children who witnessed the shooting were questioned by child protection investigators.

"That’s sad, though, because kids come here and play all the time and it seemed like it happened in daylight, too, on a Sunday," said a neighbor. 

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