‘Tragic situation:’ Jacksonville Beach mayor, others react to shootings that left 1 dead, 3 injured

Witnesses and public officials are talking about the panic that ensued from three separate, unrelated shootings that left one dead and three injured on Sunday during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the downtown area of Jacksonville Beach near several bars.

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Here’s what Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Gene Paul Smith shared on Monday morning:

  • The initial shooting was near the boardwalk & Best Western Hotel at around 7:50 p.m., and officers were already in the area when it happened. Three people were shot and two people were shooting at each other. An innocent bystander was hit. The other two people are considered “victim-suspects.”

  • The second shooting happened at around 8:13 p.m. in the parking lot outside the Ritz Bar. A suspect in a ski mask opened fire before dumping the pistol, which was recovered by police. No one was injured in this shooting.

  • The third shooting happened at around 8:31 p.m. outside Sneakers Bar. There were 3 suspects and one person was killed. Police did not say if the person who died was a suspect or innocent bystander.

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An eyewitness to the shooting near Sneakers spoke to Action News Jax about what she saw during the chaotic moments.

“It was two people arguing though. And then there was a group of people around like just watching and then once the shots went off, everybody started running. And that’s kind of how it happened,” Ginell Glover said.

Action News Jax spoke to Jacksonville Beach Mayor Chris Hoffman, who said she was sad about the shootings, but felt glad about the response from police and business owners.

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“I’m obviously very saddened by this tragic situation that impacted our beaches. But I’m just so glad to see how our police department has worked together to react and to be really responsive, our business owners really worked together to make sure their patrons were as safe as possible,” Hoffman said.

Jacksonville City Councilman Rory Diamond, whose district includes Jacksonville’s Beaches, said on X on Monday morning that he is, “Incredibly grateful for the quick action of our amazing @JaxBeachPD. Praying for quick recovery for those affected. Very scary night for all involved.”

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