JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 21-year-old driver who was critically injured in a drive-by shooting Saturday that left a 13-year-old dead was shot 10 times while trying to shield the four children in his SUV from gunfire, according to News 6 partner WJXT-TV.
Jacksonville attorney John Phillips is now representing the driver of the SUV that was struck by a barrage of bullets on Saturday. The driver, who is a football coach, was taking 13-year-old Prince Holland and three other players home from football tryouts when someone pulled up to the intersection of Moncrief Road West and New Kings Road in Northwest Jacksonville and opened fire on the vehicle.
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The shooter or shooters have not yet been identified.
Holland died as a result of his injuries. The 21-year-old driver was initially listed in critical condition. Attorney Phillips said he was struck 10 times by bullets while trying to shield the children. As of Tuesday evening, Phillips said, the man was still in the hospital, and he is facing several surgeries.
An 11-year-old boy was also shot in the drive-by, but he is expected to be OK.
The other two boys, ages 14 and 15, were uninjured.
Search for shooter
To answer questions from the community about what efforts are underway to find the shooter who pulled the trigger that peppered the SUV with Holland inside, News4JAX on Tuesday met up with James Brown, a retired JSO officer.
Brown said, right now, detectives are going through every surveillance camera in the area and talking to any witnesses who may have seen anything like a vehicle description or partial tag number.
“Someone knows these individuals. The people that know them obviously are going to put out information. Maybe not on purpose, but by word of mouth, rumors. It is hard for them to avoid. They will get caught,” Brown said.
He also said they are questioning all of the victims to see if it is possible they might have any idea why someone would shoot at them or if this was random.
“More than likely this was not random. It was probably directed. With that being said, there’s probably some bad blood somewhere. There’s a motive behind it. So yes, they would be talking to people directly involved,” Brown said.
According to Phillips, the driver of the SUV has talked to JSO from his hospital bed and does not know who shot up the car.
As for the shooter, Brown said, that person or group could likely be trying to hide the vehicle that they were in or get out of town.
“Whatever resources they may have will be leaning heavily on them — friends, associates, people that can help them get out of the area possibly, lay low, shelter,” Brown said.
News4JAX on Tuesday also talked with MAD DADS, which has been meeting with Holland’s family since this happened.
“We are hoping with all of the news coverage, the mayor and the sheriff, coming out, City Council members, the state attorney coming out that this will inspire the community to come forward,” said AJ Jordan, outreach coordinator with MAD DADS.
The group wants the public to know something critical: There are options to stay anonymous if you report something to police. Many people are worried they may have an officer show up at their house to ask questions and tip off the suspect that they told police. AJ Jordan, with MAD DADS, says Crime Stoppers is truly anonymous and you cannot be tracked by police even if your tip is valid.
“MAD DADS educates our community on Crime Stoppers and ensures them the information is safe, secure and no one will ever know that you called Crime Stoppers,” Jordan said.
The phone number for Crime Stoppers is 1-866-845-TIPS (8477). Your tip goes to an out-of-state call center and is assigned a number. Police won’t know you called it in. You cannot even be subpoenaed into court if your tip leads to an arrest. You will be truly anonymous.
There is currently a $9,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.
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