Jacksonville Beach shootings leave 1 dead, 3 hospitalized; police looking for multiple suspects

Multiple suspected shooters remain on the loose after three separate, unrelated incidents

Police in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, are searching for multiple suspects after three separate and unrelated shootings near the boardwalk and downtown area Sunday evening left one person dead and at least three others injured.

Multiple suspected shooters remain on the loose, Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Gene Paul Smith said at a media briefing Monday morning.

"I cannot emphasize the chaotic nature of the incident last night," Smith said. "We are currently working three separate unrelated shootings."

The first shooting happened around 7:50 p.m. in the 400 block of the boardwalk just east of the Best Western hotel. Smith said officers had earlier learned of a possible gathering of teens underneath the pier and found that 250 to 400 juveniles in their late teens had gathered, engaging in boxing matches and fights. Officers were on scene dispersing the crowd when gunfire erupted.


beachgoers sitting on beach

In this photo taken Saturday, people enjoy Jacksonville Beach, Florida. On Sunday evening, police in Jacksonville Beach responded to an active shooter incident in the downtown area that left one dead and two injured. (Larry Paci for Fox News Digital )

One witness who recorded video from the beach during the shooting described "about 15 to 20 gunshots" as "everybody started scattering."

Two suspects shot each other and one innocent bystander from out of town was struck, Smith said. One suspect and the bystander were rushed to a hospital. The second suspect, who police said is a certified gang member, self-reported to the hospital. All three were in serious condition.

The second shooting happened around 8:13 near the Ritz bar in the downtown area. A suspect had displayed a pistol and fired one shot. Smith said no one was injured, though the suspect eluded police during a foot chase.

Jacksonville Beach

In this photo taken on Saturday, visitors enjoy Jacksonville Beach. Multiple suspected shooters remain on the loose after an incident in Jacksonville Beach on Sunday night. (Larry Paci for Fox News Digital)

The third shooting happened around 8:31 p.m. behind Sneakers bar. A 21-year-old Black male was killed. Three armed suspects, all Black males, drew firearms, though only one opened fire, Smith said. The three suspects remain at large.

The three shootings by multiple shooters prompted authorities to ask the city to shelter in place, but the order was later lifted at 10:54 p.m. as officers continued to work at the scenes of the shootings.

people on Jacksonville Beach

Jacksonville Beach is a coastal resort city in Duval County, Florida. In this photo taken on Saturday, visitors enjoy the beach. (Larry Paci for Fox News Digital)

No police officers discharged their firearms during any of the incidents and no arrests have been made as police continue to investigate the incidents, Smith said.


Multiple pistol and rifle shell casings were found at the three shooting scenes. Smith said two firearms used in the shootings have been recovered.

During the lockdown in the downtown district/bar area and the beachfront, the chief said, officers evacuated citizens who were still inside businesses from the scene while still searching for the outstanding suspects.

Eyewitnesses told WFOX they observed multiple ambulances and patrol cars in the areas.

Authorities are asking people to avoid the crime scene.

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