Gunfire incident in Fernandina Beach leaves at least one critically injured
At least one person was critically injured in a gunfire incident at 500 S. 17th Street in Fernandina Beach on Friday evening, around 4:30 p.m. A neighbor on South 17th Street reported hearing "eight or nine" shots. One victim was airlifted to UF Jacksonville; another man who was "beaten up," according to the Fernandina Beach Police Department, was questioned. Five suspects who led police on a chase through Yulee were later captured by Nassau Couty Sheriff's Office deputies.
According to a news release from Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper: "We received a report of a shooting in Fernandina on South 17th Street. Several suspects fled in a silver colored 4-Door passenger vehicle. NCSO deputies spotted the vehicle heading westbound on A1A west of Chester Road. The suspects turned north onto Gene Lasserre Blvd and then turned into the Catholic Church parking lot. Deputies captured 4 individuals at the car and one suspect fled into the woods west of the church. Deputies set up a perimeter around the wooded area and utilized one of our K-9 tracking dogs to trail the suspect and also utilized our drone to fly overhead to visually observe movement in the woods. Deputies were able to capture him as well. All five suspects, three black males and two white males, were taken into custody and turned over to FBPD Detectives. Deputies also found a rifle inside the vehicle and a handgun was found on the roadway."
Also, according to Leeper: "NCSO charged the driver of the vehicle, Spencer Smart, with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Smart allegedly attempted to hit a deputy with his vehicle while in the Catholic Church parking lot, according to Leeper. He added that "NCSO charged the suspect who fled into the woods with fleeing a LE officer and resisting arrest without violence. His name is Rossano Clark."
Leeper referred the Fernandina Beach gunfire incident on South 17th Street to the Fernandina Beach Police Department.
Fernandina Beach Police Chief James Hurley, in a separate email wrote that his force has been at the scene since Friday, and "we have been getting very little cooperation in this case from those involved. We were forced to get a search warrant to search both the victims' house and the suspects' car. Our folks worked most of the night trying to get a coherent story from anybody involved, but so far it seems like they either know nothing or prefer that we know nothing. Probably Monday until we can put anything out. One of the persons claiming to be assaulted was similarly assaulted by four guys he said he didn't know a short while back."
Speaking about the investigation on Tuesday, Hurley said that detectives have performed a search of the vehicle involved and that their analysis is continuing.