A night of violence rocked Jacksonville Tuesday even as the impact of Hurricane Irma continues to reverberate.
In the space of six hours, four people died in separate shootings, one a teen, while a woman was seriously injured by gunshots, according to the sheriff’s office. The aftermath of one of those deaths, identified on social media as a popular rap artist, has led to dozens of memorials on Facebook and links to his songs.
The shootings bring the number of homicides in the city to at least 95 in a night of violence that followed days of relative reprieve while people were consumed by the storm.
The first was the youngest victim, occurring about 5:30 p.m. in the 4600 block of Ricker Road. A group of teens were hanging out behind a closed daycare in the Westside neighborhood near Melvin Road when a boy believed to be 14 was shot, Sgt. Mark Musser said.
“He was with three other juveniles,” Musser said. “Those juveniles, after the shooting, brought the victim here to Melvin and Ricker roads where they flagged down an individual who drove them to the fire station (on Hillman Drive).”
Taken to UF Health Jacksonville, the boy was pronounced dead, Musser said. His friends were taken in for questioning, but police at time said it was unknown whether it was gang-related.
“What they saw, what they know about what occurred, that’s what we’re trying to work through right now,” Musser said.
SLIDESHOWS: IRMA'S AFTERMATH
The second shooting occurred two hours later at the Hilltop Apartments at 1646 W. 45th St. as officers responded to reports of gunfire, police said. They found a man shot multiple times between two of the buildings. The Fire and Rescue Department was called, but he had died. A witness told police two armed gunman wearing masks approached the man as he got out of his car and walked toward the courtyard. The gunmen fired at the victim, then ran.
Video of the shooting aftermath that was posted on social media Tuesday night shows the victim face-down in the courtyard between the buildings, with people crouched over him and others screaming.
“Oh my God!” one man said. Then a woman is heard saying, “He’s still breathing. Somebody call an ambulance.”
Police have not identified this victim. But during the video, a man is heard yelling, “They just killed Jug, man!” Based on dozens of posts on his and other Facebook pages, he was 29-year-old Devin LaVaughan Gauldin, aka “Lil Jug.”
In one of his music videos, he is seen sitting down with a teenage boy telling him “Don’t be like me, … I want you to be better than me.” And in another entitled “Gutta Baby,” he is the character set up for a hit, then chased by two gunmen through a neighborhood and city park.
Another hour or so later, about 8:30 p.m., officers went to the third shooting death of the night at the La Estancia apartment complex at 5141 Shenandoah Ave., four miles away from Hilltop Apartments. Responding to reports of a person shot, officers found a man, about 20, shot at least once near an apartment. Paramedics declared him dead and police had no other information on how or why he was shot.
The last shooting began with a woman wounded in an attack just before 11 p.m. in the 11000 block of DePaul Drive and ended minutes later at another shooting less than two miles away on Dunn Avenue with her boyfriend, 22-year-old Ksean Devon Williams, dead from an apparent suicide, police said.
The woman was listed in serious condition, but is expected to recover, police said. Police said their investigation indicates the boyfriend shot her on DePaul before killing himself at his home on Dunn. The woman is expected to survive, police said.
No other names have been released by police.
Anyone with information on any of those shootings is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at (904) 630-0500 or First Coast Crime Stoppers at (866) 845-8477 (845-TIPS).
Dan Scanlan: (904) 359-4549