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HomeGeneralAuthorities Report Three Separate Shootings Within 1 Hour in Jacksonville Beach

Authorities Report Three Separate Shootings Within 1 Hour in Jacksonville Beach

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Florida authorities recorded three separate, unrelated shootings within an hour in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, on Sunday, March 17, 2024. According to authorities, the third shooting left one person dead and several hurt. The first shooting reportedly occurred at 7:50 p.m. near the Best Western Hotel, Jacksonville Beach.

A picture of the Jacksonville Beach shooting
Source: nypost/X

The first shooting happened when two “suspect victims” had shot at each other. Unfortunately, authorities say the shot hit an innocent bystander who was from out of town and the two suspects. Police were already in the area when the shooting happened, so they apprehended the suspects and rendered medical aid.

At 8:13 p.m., police said another man fired shots while running in front of businesses. Fortunately, police said the second shooting did not hurt anyone, and they recovered the gun. However, police said they are still looking for the suspect.

Authorities said the third shooting, which unfolded around 8:31 p.m. near Sneakers Bar, left one dead. The suspects are still at large, and the police said they are looking for three suspects who displayed guns. Following the shootings, authorities locked down the downtown district and bar area and the Jacksonville Beach beachfront.

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Sgt. Tonya Tator, an officer with the police department, told reporters that the area will remain shut down until further notice. “We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us to figure out everything, put all the pieces together,” she said. On Monday, March 18, 2024, authorities revealed in a news conference that the violence left three people injured.

Chief Gene Paul Smith from the Jacksonville Beach Police Department said during the conference that one person died from the shooting. Furthermore, Chief Smith said officers received tips about a possible gathering of organized fights on the beach for Sunday.

He said about 250-400 people in their late teens arrived at the area, with some engaging in fights. However, the police chief noted that officers dispersed them from the scene. Chief Smith also said that the shootings started after the crowd dispersed.

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In addition, Chief Smith said the victim-suspects from the shooting are wounded and are in serious condition in surgery. He added that they transported two to the hospital while a third person, a gang member, self-reported.

Furthermore, Chief Smith said an innocent bystander was hit three times by gunfire and is in serious condition. During the press conference, Mayor Christine Hoffman said the shootings were “extremely tragic and unfortunate.” Also, she praised local businesses and law enforcement who acted together during the St. Patrick’s Day incident.

“There were several incidents that seem potentially unrelated,” Hoffman told local reporters. “So we want to know as much as we can find out.” Following the incident, authorities found multiple shell casings from a pistol and a rifle.

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Also, they recovered firearms from the scenes, one of them being a pistol from the second incident. Chief Smith described one victim from the first shooting as a tall, thin Black male. Similarly, authorities described the suspect from the second shooting as a tall, thin Black male with a ski mask. 

They also described the suspects in the third incident as three Black males who displayed firearms. However, police described the shooter as a thin, six-foot-tall Black male with a short beard. Florida authorities are still searching for the suspects, and the investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

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