Duval County

‘People were bolting’: Witnesses describe chaotic scene during Hyatt Regency shooting

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Action News Jax has been following the Hyatt Regency shooting in Downtown Jacksonville this morning.

So far, we know two people were shot inside a bathroom inside the hotel while a private party was going on inside Morton’s Steakhouse.

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It’s unknown currently if the victims or suspects were guests at the private party or the hotel.

Guests at the hotel said they ran for their lives when they heard loud pops near the restaurant.

“I heard someone yell ‘get down, get down,’” Hyatt Regency guest Michael Wood said.

Michael and Nancy Wood were sitting inside the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Downtown Jacksonville with family Saturday night when they thought they heard someone drop a loud metal tray.

“People were bolting,” Nancy Wood said.

They said it wasn’t until they heard a second loud pop, that they realized it was a gunshot.

“I just saw a lot of people running and screaming,” Michael said.

The two got separated from their family in the chaos. They ran up to their room, turned off the lights, and called 911.

Shortly after, they said they heard an announcement over the intercom, instructing guests to either evacuate or stay in their rooms.

Other people inside the hotel said they were confused and scared during the incident. People outside the hotel said the same. One man described the scene on the Riverwalk as chaotic.

“I was sitting down here and then I heard three pops. Then, I heard a guy coming out, they all went that way for some reason, he hollered he’d been shot,” Bret Nelson said.

Bret Nelson had been walking on the Riverwalk when the shooting unfolded. He said there was a stampede out of the restaurant.

“Somebody hollered, ‘he’s got a gun,’” Nelson said.

While Bret was ducking down outside, Michael and Nancy were huddling for safety inside.

The morning after, both of them are still trying to grasp what happened.

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“You don’t realize it’s that close to you,” Nelson said.

“I don’t know, really, how you can prepare yourself for that kind of sudden unexpected event,” Michael said.

JSO said there is no suspect in custody at this time.