JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Just after 1 a.m. Thursday, a usually quiet Mandarin apartment complex became the scene of a cold-blooded murder. Christopher Smith, 28, was gunned down by two robbers while a woman and two young children slept just feet away.
Neighbor Jasmine Jenkins said, "I mean, it could happen anywhere. But of course when children are involved, it's just devastating."
Police are calling it a home invasion. They say the robbers forced their way into the home and stole some cash. They shot Smith, and left the rest of the family alone.
Neighbors like Lauren Marshall never saw it coming. She said, "I wouldn't live here if I thought there were things like this going on. It's a very nice complex, very peaceful, quiet."
Now, investigators are left with more questions than answers. Who are these suspects? How did they know Christopher Smith? And why did they want him dead? The victim's rights group, Mad Dads, is hoping the community comes forward to help police catch the killers.
"I'm going to ask the community to take a stand, and stand up for what is right, and turn these individuals in," said Mad Dads President Donald Foy. "The violence, it has to stop."
According to a family friend, one of the two children in the home belonged to Smith. That friend told Action News Smith and the mother were not married.
Anyone with information about what happened is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS. Remember, you never have to leave your name. And often times, a reward is offered for information that leads to an arrest.