JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — A Jacksonville Army veteran, father, and entrepreneur was shot dead Thursday night just hours before his 32nd birthday. Friends identified the victim as Shawn Davis.
“Shawn is the type of guy — if you’re stuck in the mud, he’s not going to throw a rope, he’s going to go down in the mud and put you on his back and walk you out,” Mac Clark, his close friend, said.
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Friends said they were celebrating at a short-term rental when the party turned into an argument. Police said they’re looking for up to two suspects who drove off from the scene on Ocean Pond Court Thursday night.
Davis was a father to an 8-year-old and husband.
“This makes no sense. This guy was such a good guy,” Clark said.
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“We figured it’s close to Labor Day — they were shooting off fireworks. And I looked out — saw lightning and figured it was thunder or whatever and went back inside,” Samantha Barber said.
Neighbors reported hearing up to ten gun shots. Barber lives nearby and has concerns about short-term rentals and who’s sometimes staying next door.
Neighbors told Action News Jax the home, in the 1600 block of Ocean Pond Court, is the only short-term rental on the cul-de-sac.
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“How do we know this isn’t going to happen again? That they’re going to rent this out again? And those types of circumstances,” Barber asked. “It’s the unknown with the [short-term] rentals that concerns me.”
Action News Jax could not find the listing on either Airbnb or VRBO, but reached out to both for comment. So far, we have not heard back.
According to the City of Jacksonville Beach, the home where the shooting happened is registered with the city. Short-term rentals are required to register every year. Nuisance complaints can be made online. Noise complaints should be called into police.
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Mayor Chris Hoffman said the city is very limited in what it can do with short-term rentals because of state law. However, a city ordinance did pass in 2019 that states a short-term rental can house up to two people per bedroom and two more on top of that, but no more than 16 max.
According to the home’s Zillow listing, the house is a 3-bedroom and therefore can house up to eight guests.
Neighbors said there were up to a dozen at the home Thursday night. Police have not released any additional information about a possible suspect, or suspects.
PHOTOS: Local father, veteran killed during birthday celebration at Jacksonville Beach short-term rental
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