The mayor of Jacksonville Beach says businesses should be reassured by the quick police response


JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – About 12 hours after one person was killed and three others were injured in three unrelated shootings Sunday night in downtown Jacksonville Beach, Mayor Christine Hoffman praised the quick response of police and local businesses.
Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Gene Paul Smith explained Monday morning that the first shooting was reported at 7:50 p.m., the second incident was around 8:13 p.m. and the third was at 8:31 p.m. Smith called for an “active incident” lockdown of the downtown bar district as officers looked for the shooters and tried to get the crowds to safety.
Smith said because of the increased presence of law enforcement to help with large crowds for St. Patrick’s Day, Spring Break and The Players Championship, officers responded within seconds to each shooting.
None of the shooters have been arrested.
“I think one of the important points in terms of the timeline of the three distinctly separate shootings was that the response time was little to none on all three of the occurrences.
Our officers were there.
They anticipated.
Our mutual aid partners were here very quickly,” Hoffman said.
Officers broke up the crowd when they began engaging in boxing matches and fights, and that’s when the first shooting happened, Smith said.
“I think that the proactive intelligence gathering at the beginning, monitoring the situation during and then the very quick response I’m really proud of our police department as well as our mutual aid partners for helping to provide that,” Hoffman said.
“We’re a public beach.
We’re a city that attracts a large crowd of people through not just Spring Break but throughout the year.
It’s a great place to come and relax and have fun.”READ | 1 dead, 3 hurt in 3 separate shootings in downtown Jacksonville Beach during busy St. Patrick’s DayHoffman said the three shootings happening on a busy holiday weekend that coincided with the end of The Players Championship placed Jacksonville Beach in the international spotlight.
“We are under a bit of a microscope out here because we do not have incidents like that so we’re getting a lot more attention than maybe other areas would,” Hoffman said.
“Statistically we are a very safe community.”She called the senseless violence and tragic loss of life “disappointing and saddening.”“All of the emotions at once.
But I’m also really proud of our police department,” Hoffman said.
“And our business owners who helped to ensure the safety of their patrons.
Everybody really worked together and responded very quickly.
So I think, to me, that quick response and the quick action by our police department should be reassuring to our visitors.”Many businesses in the bar district acted quickly to secure their patrons as police ordered the lockdown.
Casey Jones told News4JAX he was at Lynch’s Irish Pub about a block away from the first shooting commotion and had some friends down at Surfer The Bar.
“They were supposed to meet us.
It was crazy,” Jones said.
“What they said is when it happened that management rushed them up to the second level; they put stuff in the windows.
Evan Rajta, whose family owns SALT in Jacksonville Beach, said his staff helped a wounded bystander.
“My whole staff was prepared and we have armed security.
We were well-prepared.
We helped the gentleman that was shot, our staff did,” Rajta said.
She said everyone stayed down until it was safe to run out of the bar.
Mayor Hoffman joined Chief Smith in asking for anyone who has information, cellphone video or social media video of the shootings to please contact the Jacksonville Beach Police Department at 904-270-1667 and ask for the detective section.
“Anything that they can provide in terms of help or information.
If they saw anything last night that can help us gather evidence on this case,” Hoffman said.
She also encouraged everyone to continue to support Jacksonville Beach, its police and its businesses.
“Know that this is a great city.
It’s a great city to be the mayor of.
This is a hard day to be the mayor but this is also an opportunity to see our staff, our community, our residents, our businesses really come together and help each other,” Hoffman said.
Timeline of shootingsSmith said the officer assigned to the crowd at the pier began breaking it up around 8 p.m. and that’s when two young men shot at each other on the boardwalk near the Best Western.
Both were wounded and an innocent bystander was also hit.
All three were seriously injured but were listed as stable Monday morning.
Smith said officers witnessed the shooting and immediately tried to catch one of the shooters who ran from the scene and gave medical aid to the injured men.
The shooter who ran off later showed up at a local hospital with a gunshot wound.
Smith said that he is listed by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office as a “certified gang member.” The other shooter and bystander were taken to the hospital by rescue units.
Scene of active shooter in Jacksonville Beach (WJXT)Smith said the seco

Florida’s Jacksonville Beach. A little over twelve hours after three separate shootings in downtown Jacksonville Beach on Sunday night left one person dead and three injured, Mayor Christine Hoffman commended the prompt action of the police and nearby businesses.

According to a Monday morning statement from Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Gene Paul Smith, the first shooting was reported at 7:50 p.m. me. the second incident happened at 8:13 p.m. me. as well as the third at 8:31 p.m. m. Smith demanded that the downtown bar district be placed under lockdown due to a “active incident” while police searched for the shooters and attempted to evacuate the throng.

Smith stated that due to the heightened presence of law enforcement to assist in managing sizable crowds for St. Officers responded to shootings on St. Patrick’s Day, Spring Break, and The Players Championship in a matter of seconds. Nothing has been done to apprehend any of the gunmen.

“I believe that one of the key details regarding the chronology of the three discrete shootings was that there was little to no reaction time for each of the three incidents. Our officials were present. They anticipated. Our partners in mutual aid arrived very promptly, according to Hoffman. Since this is an intelligence-based agency, they closely monitor social media and other online activity in order to predict when the crowds will arrive. “.

Around 250–400 young people turned up at the pier after officers were dispatched there, according to Smith, who said his agency had received information about a sizable planned gathering there. According to Smith, the first shooting occurred when officers broke up the crowd because they were fighting and boxing each other.

Hoffman stated, “I’m really proud of our police department as well as our mutual aid partners for helping to provide that. I think that the proactive intelligence gathering at the beginning, monitoring the situation during, and then the very quick response.”. “This is a public beach.”. Our city draws sizable crowds of visitors not only during Spring Break but all year long. This is an excellent location for unwinding and enjoying yourself. “.

READ | 3 separate shootings in downtown Jacksonville Beach during a busy St. days leave 1 dead and 3 injured. Saint Patrick’s Day.

Hoffman claimed that Jacksonville Beach gained worldwide attention as a result of the three shootings that took place over the course of a busy holiday weekend that ended with The Players Championship.

We’re receiving a lot more attention than other areas, but we’re under a bit of a microscope here because we don’t have incidents like that, according to Hoffman. According to statistics, our community is quite safe. “.

“Disappointing and saddening” was how she described the senseless violence and terrible deaths. “.

All the feelings at once. Nevertheless, Hoffman expressed her pride in their police department. and our company owners who contributed to ensuring their customers’ safety. Everyone responded quickly and worked really well together. In my opinion, our visitors should feel comforted by our police department’s prompt response and action. “.

As police issued the lockdown, many establishments in the bar district moved swiftly to protect their customers.

About a block away from the initial shooting scene, Casey Jones told News4JAX that he was at Lynch’s Irish Pub with some friends and that they were at Surfer The Bar.

“We were meant to meet them. Jones remarked, “It was crazy.”. The claim made was that the management hurried them to the second floor and placed items in the windows at the time. The fact that the bars were ready for this and the way they looked after us is really great. I’m not sure what they put in the windows. “.

When it came to ushering everyone inside from the patio and locking the doors, Jones said Lynch’s management “did a great job.”.

Jacksonville Beach’s SALT is owned by the Rajta family, whose employee Evan claimed to have assisted a wounded onlooker.

“My entire staff was ready, and security is armed.”. Our preparation was strong. Our employees assisted the man who had been shot, according to Rajta. The medical equipment our head of security was carrying allowed them to assist him. “.

A young woman who was at SALT when the mayhem started claimed that less than five minutes after she and her group entered the bar, everyone was screaming, “Get down!” and they immediately fell to the ground. Afterward, they heard gunshots coming from outside.

Everyone stayed down, she said, until it was safe to leave the bar.

Along with Chief Smith, Mayor Hoffman is pleading with anyone with information, cellphone or social media footage of the shootings to get in touch with the detective section of the Jacksonville Beach Police Department by calling 904-270-1667.

“Any assistance or information that they can offer. If they witnessed anything last night that could aid in our investigation, Hoffman stated.

She also urged everyone to keep helping Jacksonville Beach’s businesses, police, and residents.

Recognize that this is a wonderful city. It’s an amazing city to serve as mayor of. “Although it’s a challenging day as mayor, it also presents a chance to witness the remarkable unity and mutual support among our employees, residents, and businesses,” Palmer added.

Chronology of gunshots.

By 8 p.m., according to Smith, the pier crowd was being broken up by the officer assigned to supervise it. m. and that’s when the Best Western nearby, on the boardwalk, two young men started shooting at each other. An obliging bystander was also struck, and both sustained injuries.

Despite their severe injuries, all three were listed as stable on Monday morning.

Smith said that after witnessing the shooting, police tried to apprehend one of the gunmen as soon as he fled the scene and treated the wounded men.

Later, the gunman who had fled appeared with a gunshot wound at a nearby hospital. Smith claimed to be a “certified gang member,” on file with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. Rescue personnel transported the other shooter and bystander to the hospital.

Jacksonville Beach (WJXT): the scene of an ongoing gunman.

The second incident, according to Smith, occurred at 8:13 p.m. m. Then he heard a gunshot as a man wearing a ski mask was seen sprinting past a bar. Smith said the gun was later discovered by the police and no one was injured.

Reports of the third shooting emerged shortly after 8:30 p.m. M. in the Sneakers Bar & Grille parking lot.

Smith stated that witnesses reported to investigators that three men were engaged in a “disturbance” and that only one of them fired his weapon. At the scene, a man of 21 years old passed away.

The gunmen responsible for the events on Sunday night are not all under arrest.

According to Smith, numerous shell casings and an additional weapon have been found at the locations.

Because of the throng, Smith claimed, no officers fired their weapons. However, he added, they would have done so if they believed it was necessary to defend themselves or other bystanders.

Once more, the Jacksonville Beach Police Department is requesting that anyone with information call them.

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