All of us at Mission House would like to sincerely thank the Beaches community for all your prayers and concern over the incident that took place here at Mission House. We especially want to thank Chief Pat Dooley of the JBPD and his officers who responded within four minutes of the incident.
On Friday, Oct. 13, an unknown gunman came into the outside patio and after approximately 45 minutes shot and wounded two of our homeless clients. The JBPD caught the shooter approximately 30 minutes later in a nearby surf shop. The two wounded have been released from the hospital.
Mission House has been in cooperation with Jacksonville Beach officials, and NO staff or volunteers of Mission House were harmed. Mayor Charlie Latham was also present and gave staff incredible support by assuring a chaplain was present for any of the staff, volunteers or clients.
I also want to thank the staff for their quick thinking and professionalism during the entire event. They kept a cool head and assisted volunteers, clients and the police. I am very, very proud of them. It is sad that this extreme type of violence has affected Mission House as we have never had an incident like this in the seven years I have been executive director. We feel this is an isolated incident. We have put additional security measures in place to assure that we continue to remain the safe home for our clients to come and receive assistance.
Safety is and has always been our No. 1 priority at Mission House. Safety of clients, volunteers and staff. We depend on our community to assist us in helping those dealing with homelessness regain their independence. We have assisted 58 people obtain a home this year and could not have done that without the support of our faithful and generous supporters and volunteers. We will continue to be the answer for those needing assistance and thank all for their support during this difficult time.
Lori Delgado Anderson
Executive Director, Mission House