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Alachua police searching for suspects in shootings; two victims released from hospital

Police on the scene of a shooting that wounded five people Monday night in Alachua. Gabby Arzola/WGFL

Alachua Police say they're still trying to identify suspects in a pair of gang-related shootings that killed one and wounded five more, including a mother and her two young children.

Police responded to 156th Place about 6:30 p.m. and found five victims, ranging from 24 years old to 2 years old.

Sgt. Jesse Sandusky said three of the victims in Monday night's shooting are still in the hospital: a 19-year-old male is in critical condition while an 18-year-old male and a two-year-old boy are both being treated for non-life threatening injuries. Sandusky said a 24-year-old woman and a three-year-old girl were released from the hospital today. Sandusky said the woman is the mother of the two children.

Details about what happened Monday night are still sketchy given the open investigation. Sandusky said the shooting Monday night was "not necessarily" a drive-by. He said there were two vehicles involved but not what one would describe as a typical drive-by.

"We believe the shooter was not in a vehicle," Sandusky said.

Sandusky said they believe the shooting was payback for the fatal shooting of 27-year-old Dana White Jr. Sunday at Maude Lewis Park, located about a block and a half from Monday's shooting. Sandusky said White was shot during an argument.

He said none of the victims Monday night are related to White, and he declined to talk about whether any of the victims were targeted, but he did say they believe both shootings are connected to neighborhood gangs that call Alachua home.

Even with the gangs, Sandusky said the city of 9,000 people is relatively peaceful: Sunday's deadly shooting was its first homicide in 10 years. "These types of violent crimes we don't see very often here, however they can happen anywhere at any time."

School was out in Alachua County Tuesday but Sandusky said they will increase police patrols at all four city schools Wednesday as a precaution. He said there has been no direct threat to the schools.

"We have a very large amount of law enforcement out there investigating these two incidents," he said.


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