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Search continues for suspect who opened fire outside The Avenues mall

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Police are searching for a suspect who opened fire in the parking lot of The Avenues shopping mall on Friday.

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Video from inside the mall’s food court shows blood splattered on the ground as police said the man who was shot went inside for help. The parking lot was taped off for hours.

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Action News Jax spoke with a few people who were brought back to their cars after they were trapped within the crime scene all day.

This was something that had many people scared at the time and now police need help finding who’s responsible.

The shooting sent a man to the hospital and left shoppers on edge.

“It’s scary, especially when you’re just getting here and see the police and everybody outside and sitting down,” one witness said.

JSO said a man in his 20′s was shot after a fight in the parking lot -- then ran inside for help. Sources said he was shot in the face but police couldn’t confirm that.

Video taken near the food court showed a trail of blood, and police tape around several tables and chairs. Workers can be seen cleaning up.

Stacey Graves, a witness to the scene, showed up minutes later.

“Everything was on the floor, like blood and everything.”

The shooting happened around 1:40 p.m. JSO said the suspect was wearing all black and after the shooting drove off in a silver sports utility vehicle. Police also said he never went inside the mall so it never fully shut down.

Action News Jax Sky Drone showed how police focused the investigation in the parking lot.

Graves said it was a tough sight to see.

“It’s devastating seeing blood linger there and it just happened and you can’t stop looking at it because it’s a human body. Someone just came and did that and you have a trail of blood dragging towards the door.”

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Police said it’s possible the two knew each other. Investigators don’t have a specific make or model of the SUV but they’re asking anyone who may have seen what took place or has any information to give them a call at 904-630-0500.

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