Gunmen on the loose after series of shootings over St. Patrick’s Day weekend

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, FL – A string of shootings in Jacksonville Beach, occurring during the bustling St. Patrick’s Day weekend, resulted in one fatality and sent fearful bystanders scrambling for safety. As of Monday, no arrests were made, with the police still on the lookout for the suspects.

Additionally, three victims suffered serious injuries in the Sunday night shootings, according to Police Chief Gene Paul Smith of the Jacksonville Beach Police. He disclosed on Monday that one of the injured was an out-of-town tourist inadvertently caught in the crossfire.

Smith recounts that the initial shooting incident took place after approximately 250 teenagers congregated beneath the Jacksonville Beach Pier, intending to engage in coordinated fights. The police, having prior information about the organized skirmishes, were already present in the vicinity. Two individuals initiated gunfire, as per police accounts. The gunmen shot three people, including an uninvolved bystander,

Footage from the scene released by the police revealed a large crowd dispersing rapidly. A single individual was fatally wounded in the third shooting, which occurred outside another bar. However, it remains unclear whether the deceased was a suspect or a bystander.

Smith expressed his frustration about the situation on Monday, emphasizing Jacksonville Beach’s reputation as a law-abiding city. Jacksonville Beach Mayor Chris Hoffman referred to the tragic circumstances as the unfortunate consequences of the wrongful actions of a few individuals, jeopardizing the safety of all.

Following the shooting abruptly ending the life of a 21-year-old man, local police imposed a lockdown on nearby bars and orchestrated the evacuation of the downtown area, as stated by authorities.