Jacksonville police are investigating the shooting death Friday night of a man found in the parking lot of a Southside apartment complex.
It was quiet Saturday afternoon at a Southside luxury apartment complex where Jacksonville police say a man was gunned down in the parking lot several hours earlier.
There were no obvious signs of violence. No crime scene tape, no bullet holes and no evidence markers could be seen.
But as residents walked their dogs or jogged within the gates of Century Deerwood Park apartments, 8450 Gate Parkway West, homicide detectives with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office searched for a killer.
Police found the victim — who appeared to be about 25 — with multiple gunshot wounds at the sprawling complex after receiving several 911 calls at 8:50 p.m. Friday, Sgt. Steve Rudlaff of Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit said during a news media briefing at the scene following the shooting.
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Rudlaff said the victim was pronounced dead after being rushed to Memorial Hospital.
"We are still trying to confirm the identity of the victim," Rudlaff said.
The man was Jacksonville’s 124th known homicide this year as of Saturday morning, Times-Union records show,
In comparison, there were 105 homicides in the city at this time last year, according to the records.
The Friday night slaying also was the city’s first homicide since Oct. 17 this year.
In 2018, Jacksonville didn’t see its first November homicide until Nov. 17, according to Times-Union records.
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Several witnesses told police they saw a black man wearing dark clothing running north through the apartment complex immediately after the shooting, Rudlaff said.
He said patrol officers were talking to people, interviewing additional witnesses and searching for anyone else who might have seen or heard the shooting.
Rudlaff said the shooting happened between several cars in the parking lot of the apartment complex.
Several people, he said, were outside at the time of the shooting. Others who were inside their apartments and heard the shooting have come forward, Rudlaff said.
"We do not have a motive at this time," Rudlaff said.
Noting it was early in the investigation, Rudlaff said police had not determined why the victim was at the complex.
A Sheriff’s Office helicopter searched the area for the suspect as officers on the ground looked for evidence and canvassed the neighborhood.
It was possible, Rudlaff said bullets might have struck some parked cars or apartments when the gunfire erupted. Police were going door-to-door Friday night to check on residents, he said.
However, no injuries were immediately reported, he said.
Police also were looking for any security surveillance camera video that might have captured the shooting, circumstances leading up to it or aftermath, Rudlaff said.
Rudlaff said since the suspect was at-large and hadn’t been identified Friday night, there could be a potential threat to the community. Police hadn’t determined whether the suspect lived at the complex, he said.
"So that’s why we’re asking for the community’s assistance. If you do know what took place, if you know possibly who the shooter is, please contact us or crime stoppers," Rudlaff said.
No arrests were reported Saturday by the Sheriff’s Office.
Rudlaff said it appeared just one caliber of firearm was used in the shooting.
Anyone with information can contact the Sheriff’s Office at (904) 630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward of up to $3,000, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
Times-Union writer Scott Butler contributed to this report.
Teresa Stepzinski: (904) 359-4075