JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Six teenagers were injured Tuesday in two shootings near downtown that police believe may have been in retaliation from a fight over a girl, authorities said.
All six victims, between the ages of 15 and 17, were being treated at Shands Jacksonville hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries, said Ken Jefferson, a spokesman for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
The first shooting occurred about 2:30 p.m. when a car pulled up outside a house where four men were sitting on the porch. A single shot from a shotgun came from a vehicle and all the victims were peppered with bird shot, said Sheriff John Rutherford.
About a block away, shots were fired between two cars and police said two people were wounded in that exchange. Police don't know what weapons were used in that shooting.
"We are not getting cooperation from the victims," the sheriff said.
Because of the proximity of the two shootings and the short time frame involved, authorities believe they could be connected, Rutherford said.
Investigators were looking into reports that the shootings were retaliation after a fight over a girl about two days ago.
"This was a targeted situation," Rutherford said. "This was not a random event."
All the injured victims appeared to know each other, Jefferson said.
It also was not known whether the shooter or shooters were at large or among the victims.
The shootings occurred in the Talleyrand area near Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars football team.
The shootings occurred as children were walking home from John Love Elementary School and parents were angry about the violence occurring in the neighborhood.
"This is crazy around here. We hear gunshots all the time," said Tim Richards, 41, who lives in the area with his 29-year-old wife, Erma, and four children, ages 4, 7, 9, and 13. "You hear it all day and night around here."
"I can't let the children play outside or go to the park, it's not safe," said Erma Richards.