Four local men are facing charges linked to a deadly shooting in St. Johns County on Thursday.
Neighbors said there were so many deputies on the ground, they were afraid to leave their homes.
The sheriff’s office said they worked with multiple agencies and used every resource they had to track down all four suspects.
But the most essential part of nabbing these suspects was help from the community.
As police scoured neighborhoods just two miles south of the St. Augustine Outlets, neighbors were told to be on the lookout, and deputies escorted some school buses.
“The grandkids we had them get dropped off at 6:30 this morning and they were screaming, crying cause they didn’t know what was going on,” Kathy McCarthy told Action News Jax.
1 P.M. THURSDAY UPDATE: Undersheriff Matthew Cline told Action News Jax in a press conference that while this investigation is still a very fluid situation, he can update the public that all outstanding subjects are in police custody.
Cline said around 2 A.M. the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office got a 911 call about shots fired off Green Acres Road, which is a very rural, wooded area.
The undersheriff said when deputies responded to the call, a white SUV appeared to be attempting to flee the scene.
“As we tried to get that car pulled over, additional cars went to the location of what we believed to be the shooting,” Undersheriff Matthew Cline told Action News Jax.
He said some responding units followed the SUV in an attempt to pull it over, while the other responding units continued to the home where it was believed the reported shots came from.
Cline said when deputies got to the SUV, the occupants had already fled from the vehicle. The car was abandoned at the end of Old Tyme Avenue.
Sheriff's deputies were able to use video from this location to capture the first two suspects.
The other officers found a body on the scene at the home.
The undersheriff said there were five Duval residents who came to this home in St. Johns County. He said he cannot give a lot of information on the incident yet, but he can say this incident is believed to be drug related.
#BREAKING UPDATE — @SJSOPIO Undersheriff Cline says they were able to get the other suspects in custody so quickly with help of people who lived in the immediate area. “Because someone had the courage to see something and say something.” @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/wTMX6u0wVi— Courtney Cole (@CourtneyANJax) September 13, 2018
He said deputies are not sure at this time whether the Duval residents were welcomed on the property off Green Acres Road or if this was an attempted robbery.
Cline said deputies were able to quickly set up a perimeter around the area.
They caught first two subjects at the scene. Another subject was the deceased body found at the scene.
Later in the day a citizen, who lives within the perimeter, called in a possible sighting for the other two outstanding men. This tip helped deputies catch the two men.
"The fact that someone had the courage to see something and say something and pick up the phone make the call to The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office…we were able to end this thing before the 5 o’clock hour,” said Undersheriff Cline.
Linda Powell said she was planning to do some work in her yard Thursday afternoon at her home on Green Acres Road.
"But I wasn't comfortable knowing that something was going on,” Powell told Action News Jax Courtney Cole.
Now she says it's a good thing she didn't... “Because I probably would have met them.”
Powell said she saw the two suspects in her yard...wanted for the deadly shooting that happened just down the street from her house on Cowan Road.
"My window I sit is right here, and they broke in here and I heard something,” Powell said.
Powell told Action News Jax she saw them in her backyard, then they walked over to her into shed— before trying to escape into the woods.
Powell sent us pictures that show the investigators, officers, and the K-9 unit searching her yard.
She said the two suspects were covered in dirt and muck.
"I have a road, so to speak--and they went in and took a left,” Powell told Cole.
She said her cell phone doesn't work inside her house, so she ran to the front of her house to call 911.
“3 minutes, 3 minutes and they descend! There were probably 7 men here in 3 minutes. In 5 minutes there's 15!”
Powell said she commends the sheriff's office for their hard work.
The undersheriff said some officers suffered heat exhaustion during the search. Those officers are being treated at Flagler Hospital.
#BREAKING UPDATE: ALL 4 suspects involved in deadly shooting on Cowan Rd. this morning are in custody. Undersheriff Matthew Cline says circumstances around shooting fluid, but they believe it is drug related. @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/9i9pUiHGR2— Courtney Cole (@CourtneyANJax) September 13, 2018
11 A.M. THURSDAY UPDATE: St. Johns County deputies have released a description of the two remaining suspects in a death investigation.
One suspect is described as a white man and the other is described as a light-skinned black man. Both men are said to be in their early 20s.
Deputies say the suspects were seen fleeing the area of Usina Road where a reported shooting occurred leaving one man dead.
8:50 A.M. THURSDAY UPDATE: Deputies said they have detained a second suspect in St. Johns County. The search continues for two more suspects believed to be in the area.
A man was found dead outside a residence on Usina Road and Cowan Road Thursday morning, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies said a resident heard gunshots shortly after 2 a.m. coming from a next door residence off of Cowan Road.
As deputies arrived, they were passed by a white vehicle fleeing the area.
Deputies turned around to investigate and later found the vehicle abandoned at the end of Old Tyme Avenue.
Deputies searched for the vehicle's occupants in the woods using K9’s and aviation support.
Surveillance video from an Old Tyme Avenue residence showed four people fleeing from the car into the woods at the dead end of Old Tyme Avenue.
One suspect was located in the woods and has been detained according to the sheriff's office.
The other three suspects are believed to still be in the area and may be moving together or separately.
A description of the suspects has not been released.
SHOOTING/SEARCH UPDATE: One subject has been located in the woods along Usina Road. The subject is being detained; 3 suspects believed to still be in the area and may be moving together or separately. Call 911 if you see any activity.— SJSO (@SJSOPIO) September 13, 2018
The vehicle has been Processed/Removed. pic.twitter.com/Gg3s26adDd
Authorities are searching vehicles leaving the area for the suspects.
We’re told by @SJSOPIO they’re checking vehicles as they leave the area where they’re searching for 3 suspects connected to shooting, death at Usina/Cowan Roads. @ActionNewsJax @WOKVNews pic.twitter.com/nBw673YO64— Beth Rousseau (@BethANJax) September 13, 2018
Anyone who may see individuals wandering in the community, in the State Road 16 and I-95 area, or who may observe vehicles driving around looking to pick these subjects up, is urged to call 911 immediately.
K-9s, multiple deputies, and a helicopter are involved in the search for 3 suspects connected to the shooting, death at Usina Rd./Cowan Rd., according to @SJSOPIO. @ActionNewsJax @WOKVNews pic.twitter.com/3T9iylrFB0— Beth Rousseau (@BethANJax) September 13, 2018
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