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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Shooting outside The Gator Store sends 4 people to the hospital

No one was dead as of 6 a.m. Sunday

Shattered glass and blood on the sidewalk after Saturday's shooting
Shattered glass and blood on the sidewalk after Saturday's shooting

Four people were transported to the hospital Nov. 5 after being shot outside of a convenience store in downtown Gainesville.

The Gainesville Police Department received a call at 1 a.m. about a shooting at 500 SW Second Ave., across from The Gator Store, GPD Lt. Steven Bradford said.

The four victims were quickly transported to the hospital for surgery, Bradford said, and they were still alive and in the hospital at 6 a.m. Sunday morning.

Although the incident was under GPD’s jurisdiction, Bradford said, UF didn’t issue a timely warning despite the shooting’s .3-mile distance from Infinity Hall, a university dorm located at 978 SW Second Ave. 

A timely warning is only issued when an incident occurs within boundaries defined by the Clery Act, which requires universities to disclose information about crimes. These boundaries are listed as "reasonably contiguous" areas of campus and public sidewalks, and streets along the campus borders, according to UF’s Public Safety report for 2021

While the university was aware of the off-campus shooting, “UF officials assessed the details and determined that it did not meet the threshold to issue an alert as there was no ongoing threat, which is a requirement of the Clery Act,” UF wrote in a statement.

GPD doesn’t yet know the identity of the suspects. They received a report that the suspects were driving a dark-colored sedan, which leads Bradford to believe it may have been a drive-by shooting.

Chris Hackbardt, a 21-year-old UF aerospace engineering senior, witnessed the incident and said he’s confident it was a drive-by shooting.

After hearing a series of gunshots, Hackbardt said he heard a car speed off.

Hackbardt saw a woman lying down holding her head from his balcony at an apartment building across the street. He heard people yell that the woman had been shot in the head, he said, and also saw a man lying nearby who appeared to be shot.

Two people were taken by ambulances, he said. Another group of people stood behind a car that had been struck by a bullet while parked outside of The Gator Store.

The car was hit on the driver’s side, Hackbardt said, which is the side that would have been hit by a car driving on the street.

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A window was also shattered on the first floor of The Continuum Apartments, a UF graduate apartment complex less than 100 feet from The Gator Store.

Contact Lily Kino at Follow her on Twitter @lily_kino.

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Lily Kino

Lily is a third-year journalism major with a concentration in environmental science covering criminal justice for The Alligator. Last semester, she served as the Santa Fe reporter. When she's not writing, you can find Lily on a nature walk, eating Domino's Pizza or spending time with her friends.

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