On Monday morning, just before 10 a.m., a Westside Jacksonville, FL neighborhood was ambushed by a gunman allegedly carrying an AK47.
Neighborhood homeowner and veteran Paul Ballard grabbed his gun before going out to investigate gunshots and screaming coming from the area of Buttercup Street and Brannon Avenue.
“He was waving his rifle around, and saying something to my neighbors, who were over by the van and his children, and he started walking towards her and that’s when I looked toward him and said, ‘Not in this neighborhood. There ain’t going to be no shootings in this neighborhood,” Ballard told News4Jax.
When the man started shooting at him, Ballard said he fired back, managing to hit the gunman’s vehicle as he fled the scene.
“He tried to shoot my neighbor’s dog in close proximity to my neighbor. I think he shot a second time in the direction of my neighbor and his children. And then when he saw me and I made the comment that there were not going to be no more shootings in this neighborhood, that is when he turned full semi-auto with an AK-47 and opened up on myself and my house,” he said.
“I mean, the response time when the shootings happen are good, but they should be here before they happened. And if there is a known drug problem, they should try harder to clean it up,” said resident Laura Hunt.
Thankfully, no one was harmed in this incident but Ballard said his neighborhood, which has had 17 crimes reported in the last month, needs more police patrolling its streets, or it’s just a matter of time before somebody is hurt.
“Something needs to be done. Someone is going to go into the ground — either me or my wife or the neighbors or children. This is a community of families, and it needs to be protected and investigated,” Ballard said.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the shooting and has not released an incident report or a description of the suspect.