Veteran killed in shooting at birthday party at short-term rental in Jax Beach: witness

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Florida. – A man died after a shooting Thursday night at a home in a typically quiet neighborhood of Jacksonville Beach, authorities said.

Officers said they were called just before 11:10 p.m. to report a person had been shot dead at a residence in Ocean Pond Court where occupants of the short-term rental were hosting a party.

When police arrived, they said, they found a man with multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken to hospital, where he later died, police said.

News4JAX spoke to a witness on Friday, who said the home where the shooting happened is an Airbnb and that 11 people were at a birthday party for the victim when the shots rang out.

She said a fight broke out and she heard gunshots and fell to the ground in fear. She said she never expected this to happen at a birthday party.

The witness said the victim was 32 years old and a retired war veteran. The witness could not confirm his name.

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Neighbors said they heard up to 10 gunshots.

“I was in bed and then I heard about four out of five gunshots,” said a neighbor named David Cooper. “My mom and dad lived here since 1990 and never anything like this in this neighborhood here.”

Police said another man and a woman were seen leaving the residence in a white four-door compact sedan.

As detectives continue to investigate, anyone with information is asked to call the police department.

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