The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is working to identify a baby who was found in the back of a car Wednesday with a man and woman shot dead near West Beaver Street.


Officers responded to the 1000 block of Westbrook Circle about 3:15 p.m. after a reported hit-and-run crash, but they quickly realized there were shooting victims inside the vehicle, Chief Tom Hackney said.

He said the child found in the back of the black Nissan Maxima is likely about 6 months old and will be in the custody of the Department of Children and Families until a relative can be located.

The girl does not appear to be injured, Hackney said.

It looks as though the man was driving with the woman in the passenger seat, Hackney said. Both were shot at least once.

“It doesn’t appear that this is any kind of murder-suicide,” he said.

Preliminary indications lead investigators to think the shooter was inside the car at some point, but what happened next is unclear. There were no bullet holes on the outside of the car from what police could see, Hackney said. The car was in motion after the shooting and ended up crashing into a car port in a nearby yard.

Anyone with information about the shooting or the baby can call the Sheriff’s Office at (904) 630-0500. To remain anonymous and receive a possible cash reward, contact Crime Stoppers at (866) 845-TIPS.

Joe Daraskevich

Man wounded at

apartment complex

Officers working off-duty at a Jacksonville apartment complex who heard several gunshots found a wounded man on the ground near the front of the complex.

The shooting at the Washington Heights Apartments on West Moncrief Road occurred about 12:20 p.m., said Lt. Ashish Sircar.

He said the man, who was about 20, was taken to UF Health Jacksonville. His condition was unknown Wednesday afternoon, Sircar said. He said the Sheriff’s Office’s violent crimes task force was investigating.

He said there was no suspect information.

Dana Treen


1 killed, 3 injured after truck hits SUV

One person died, and three others were seriously injured in a crash in Alachua County on Wednesday morning when a man drove a pickup truck over the center line and collided with a sport-utility vehicle, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Shirley Arpen, 78, of Melrose was killed after the Nissan Rogue she was riding in was hit by a 73-year-old man driving a Honda pickup truck, the Highway Patrol said.

Daniel J. Beach of Gainesville was eastbound in the pickup on Florida 26 just east of Northeast 221st Street about 11:45 a.m. when he crossed into the westbound lane and onto the shoulder, the Highway Patrol said. Beach drove back into the westbound lane and hit the side of the Nissan.

Norma J. Duane, 82, of Keystone Heights was driving the Nissan with 83-year-old John C. Duane of Keystone Heights and Arpen as passengers, the FHP said.

All three survivors were taken to a hospital in serious condition, according to the FHP.

Joe Daraskevich


Couple dies in

I-95 accident

A Brooklyn, N.Y., couple was killed Tuesday when they pulled into the path of a tractor-trailer rig on Interstate 95 in Flagler County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Luigi Camporeale, 85, and Filomena Camporeale, 76, were on a shoulder of the interstate at Palm Coast Parkway in their Ford Escape shortly before 10 p.m. when they drove back onto the highway, the Highway Patrol said. A truck driven by Elias Saavedra, 50, of Louisville, Ky., struck the Escape ramming it into the guardrail.

The Camporeales died at the scene. Saavedra was unhurt.

All three were wearing seat belts.

Dana Treen


Man apparently killed

by train is identified

The identity has been released of a man apparently struck by a train and killed Tuesday in Nassau County.

Michael Wayne Brannon, 63, of Hilliard was found dead by the tracks about 5:30 p.m., said Sheriff Bill Leeper.

Brannon was lying by the tracks off County Road 108 near Canterbury Drive in Hilliard.

The investigation indicated that he was struck by a train sometime earlier, and the death is still under investigation.

Dana Treen

Authorities arrest

robbery suspect

Deputies arrested a 58-year-old Yulee man Tuesday after employees at a bank identified a robbery suspect as an account holder and provided a description of his vehicle to authorities, according to the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office.

John Anthony Diamond was charged with robbery with a weapon after he was located in the UPS Store at 46378 Florida 200, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Earlier, a man entered the Wells Fargo at 463743 Florida 200 about 3:45 p.m. and approached the teller counter, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The man placed a box cutter and what appeared to be a handgun on the counter and told the teller “this is a holdup.” But he left the business with no money.

Deputies located his vehicle outside the UPS with a replica flintlock-style pistol and a box cutter inside and then arrested Diamond inside the store, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Joe Daraskevich


Man facing charge in

child-sex case nabbed

A man wanted in Orange County on a child-sex charge was apprehended in Putnam County on Wednesday without incident, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Ronald Gregory Barker, 57, was arrested at a home on Lemon Street in Welaka during a joint operation conducted by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force.

Barker was wanted in Orange County on a charge of capital sexual battery on a victim younger than 12, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

He is being held without bail and is scheduled to be extradited to Orange County.

Joe Daraskevich