Shooting in parking lot of Jacksonville mall critically injures man who sought refuge inside

Jacksonville police secure the scene of a shooting outside The Avenues mall on Dec. 1.

A man in his 20s was shot in the parking lot of The Avenues mall Friday afternoon on Southside Boulevard and was able make it inside to get help, bleeding and causing some panic. But the mall was never on lockdown, with no danger to shoppers since the criminal activity happened outside, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Lt. Chris Stephens said the man was taken to a hospital in critical condition wounded in the upper body.

The shooting occurred during a fight about 1:30 p.m. with another man. It was unclear if they knew each other, but the gunman did not enter the mall and fled in a silver SUV, Stephens said.

Witnesses said the injured man was shot in the face, according to news reports.

Blood was on the floor of the food court, apparently where the injured man sought help. Most of the food court remained open, but small portions of the food court and the parking lot where the shooting took place were cordoned off as investigators collected evidence, Stephens said.

Anyone with information should contact the Sheriff's Office at (904) 630-0500, JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.orgor First Coast Crime Stoppers at (866) 845-8477.

Where is The Avenues mall?

The Avenues mall is located at 13500 Southside Blvd. at Philips Highway and I-95 on Jacksonville's Southside.

When did The Avenues open?

The mall opened more than 33 years ago, on Sept. 26, 1990.

How many stores does The Avenues have?

The Avenues is home to more than 120 stores, restaurants and other services, including retail anchors J.C. Penney, Dillard's, Belk and Forever 21.

What restaurants operate at The Avenues food court?

According to the mall's website, food court kiosks include Sbarro, Pei Wei Asian Diner, Popeye's Chicken, Bourbon Street Grill, Sushi Burrito Express, 21 Queen Street Coffee Company, Ruby Thai, Chick-fil-A and Sarku Japan.

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Shooting at Avenues mall in Jacksonville: What we know