UPDATE: Sunday Shooting in Southwest Gainesville
A gunfight in Southwest Gainesville has investigators asking questions and residents looking for alternatives. Some residents of the Majestic Oaks Apartment Complex are using the shooting to re-double their efforts to make their community safer.
The Alachua County Sheriff's Office are still putting together the pieces of a shooting that happened in broad daylight with multiple witnesses.
Neighbors are still shaken up after yesterday's shooting. Authorities say there was a fight. Then bullets started flying in a running gun battle.
Alachua County Sheriff's Office Spokesperson Art Forgey said, "There were bullet holes in the apartments, in the fence, trees...a lot of gunfire exchanged there and there were a lot of people outside including children."
Two men were shot. Bystander, 18 year old Chauncey Jenkins and 24 year old Gerald Perkins. Deputies originally thought Perkins was an innocent bystander too, but have now arrested him for attempted homicide.
Forgey said, "So we arrested him yesterday evening and continue to look for others that were involved in that shooting."
Mclinda Gilchrist has lived in Southwest Gainesville for 9 years. She knows many residents of Majestic Oaks. Incidents like this are part of the reason, she's in the Southwest Advocacy Group known as SWAG.
Gilchrist said, "You just can't shut your doors and ignore any situation. You gotta involve yourself in your community, you gotta speak up." SWAG is working to change the culture of neighborhoods in the Southwest area by partnering with law enforcement, the county and residents to provide more resources.
Sheriff's Office Crime Prevention Analyst and SWAG Liaison Katie Fields said, "You don't have to choose stealing, or using drugs or joining a gang."
This is the future home of the Southwest Resource Center. SWAG hopes it will be an answer to some of the issues this community is facing. A resource center, playground and health department office are in the works thanks to $225 thousand from the county and other partnerships.
But SWAG says they need others in the neighborhood to participate to make a difference in Southwest Gainesville. Gilchrist said, "We need more mothers, fathers and their children to come out and support what we are supplying for your neighborhood. Be involved in solving issue in your neighborhood."
Monday, Alachua County was scheduled to close on the two buildings that will become the Southwest Community Resource Center and potential Health Department Office. The resource center should be open by the end of the year.
Authorities are still looking for at least one suspect in the shooting.
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