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String of robberies leaves two dead in two days

4:48 PM, Jul 8, 2013   |    comments
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JSO searching for this suspect in a robbery/shooting at CVS Pharmacy on San Juan Avenue.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Sheriff's Office investigators said it's possible that a string of robberies from over the weekend may be connected to Monday morning's robberies and shootings at two businesses.

It started with an armed robbery at the bus stop just before 7 a.m. Sunday at Wesconnett Boulevard and Timuquana Road.

Police say a man was robbed, but wasn't harmed.

Then, just 200 feet away at the U.S. Post Office on Wesconnett Blvd., officers believe the same suspects demanded money from a man leaving the post office, but the victim ran, was chased down, and hit by the suspects' car. The victim was transported to Orange Park Medical Center in serious condition.

The crime spree didn't stop there. Police believe that while attempting to flee the scene, the suspects hit and killed a person on a bicycle near the 5600 block La Moya Avenue. The victim was identified as 56-year-old John T. Sikes.

JSO said it located the suspects' abandoned vehicle and they detained one person for questioning.

Then, before the sun came up on Monday, two more people became victims of armed robberies. 

Police are still not sure which attempted robbery occurred first, but around 3 a.m., an employee of CVS Pharmacy on San Juan Avenue was grazed by a bullet when a suspect demanded money then shot at the employee's head. 

The suspect was caught on surveillance video and police believe the robbery is connected to another just two miles away at Mojo No. 4 Bbq Restaurant on St. Johns Avenue.

A contractor cleaning restaurant equipment was shot and killed on the job. 

The shooting has shaken the Avondale area. 

"It's something you never really see here, talk about, it's supposed to be a very safe neighborhood. Kids grow up here, it's supposed to be safe place for families and we still want it to be a safe place for families," said Holt Tucker, owner of Open Road Bicycles, a shop near the crime scene.

Tucker said he doesn't think these incidents make Avondale less safe and hopes people won't let this scare the community.

"I don't want to feel like I fear anything. We just go about our normal day here," said Holt.

Anyone with information on these crimes is asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

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