Toddler, 3, and 2 Adults Shot Dead in Dispute Over Possible Sale of Dog in Florida

Police say the shooting occurred in the breezeway of an apartment complex in Jacksonville

<p>Getty</p> Two police officers standing in front of patrol cars, behind police tape.


Two police officers standing in front of patrol cars, behind police tape.

A shooting at an apartment complex in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday left three people dead — including a 3-year-old child — possibly over the sale of a dog, according to police.

At around 10:00 p.m., officers were called to the apartments after complaints of gunfire in the 8800 block of A C Skinner Parkway, Assistant Chief J.D. Stronko said during a news conference on Sunday. Upon arrival, they discovered five victims — four adults, as well as the child — who “traveled to the apartments, possibly to conduct the private sale of a dog,” Stronko said.

“For reasons that are unknown to us at this time, a dispute ensued in a breezeway between two of the apartment buildings, resulting in four of the five individuals being shot,” he added. “Of those individuals shot, three are now deceased. That includes the 3-year-old child who traveled there with them.”

One of the adult victims hasn’t yet been identified, and the other two were in their 20s, according to Stronko. He did not provide details on the condition of the wounded individual. Citing Marsy’s Law, Stronko did not release the relationship between the victims.

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Stronko went on to say “suspect information is limited at this time,” but witnesses described two Black males leaving the scene, “possibly in a black Sedan.”

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According to CBS 47, the toddler was Kae’lynn Marie Matthews. Her grandmother told the outlet that Matthews loved school and her favorite game was hide and seek, adding that she did not live at the apartment complex where the shooting took place.

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Rachel, a neighbor at the apartment complex, told News 4 Jax she “was laying in bed and heard the pop, pop, pop. It was five or six gunshots, and I heard screaming.”

“I was petrified for them,” she said. “I really don’t expect this to happen. You hear about gunshots, especially around Jacksonville but you don’t assume it’s going to happen in your backyard, especially in a safe neighborhood.”

“My prayers go out to the families,” Rachel told the outlet. “It’s really sad.”

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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