At least five people, including two children, were shot Monday at about 6:30 p.m. in Alachua, said Sergeant Jesse Sandusky, an Alachua Police Department spokesperson.
The shootings happened near Northwest 156th Place and North Main Street, Sandusky said, roughly a 30-minute drive from UF’s campus. Alachua County Fire Rescue tweeted it treated patients from a drive-by shooting and took them to UF Health Shands Hospital’s emergency room, which was put on lockdown Monday, said Nickie Doria, a UF Health spokesperson.
Doria said Shands’ emergency room was locked down for the safety of the patients, which is standard procedure when a patient is brought in with a gunshot wound and the person responsible has not been apprehended.
The emergency room is no longer on lockdown, Doria said.
One adult remains in critical condition, Sandusky said. Both children injured during the shooting and two adult victims are in stable condition, and their injuries are not life-threatening, he said.
The shootings took place just a block-and-a-half from Maude Lewis Park, where a 27-year-old man was shot to death Sunday, marking the first homicide in Alachua County in 10 years, Sandusky said.
“We believe (Monday’s shooting) was retaliation against the incident that happened on Sunday,” Sandusky said.
He said both shootings are likely gang related. Alachua Police have not made an arrest, but are pursuing several leads, Sandusky said.
As police searched for the shooter and the victims were rushed to the hospital, Wallace Mazon saw the notification — two back-to-back missed calls from his father.
When Mazon, 23, called back, he learned his nephew, Ron Fairley, 20, had just been rushed into the intensive care unit at Shands.
Fairley was shot seven times — in the arms, chest and once in the chin, Mazon said.
“You hear about these things happening in inner cities like Chicago or Detroit,” the UF political science and African-American studies senior said. “You’d never think it would happen in a small town like (here).”
Mazon said when he visited Shands on Tuesday afternoon, he felt distraught. Fairley was unable to remain fully conscious, only blinking his eyes open a few times.
Mazon, Fairley and another victim all went to Santa Fe High School together, Mazon said.
He said he was unsure if either Clifford or Fairley are the adult the police said was in critical condition.
“I’m just hoping for the best at this point,” he said. “I’m having the feeling like he’ll have a second chance — anything can happen in these situations.”