Shooting No. 47 in 9-year Fla. family feud wounds innocent victim, cops say
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Bullets have been flying in a deadly feud between two Delray Beach families since at least 2009. And on Monday night, police say a man was injured in shooting No. 47.
Patrick Palmer, 25, was “an apparently innocent victim who was not the intended target” of the violence between the James and Johnson families, Delray Beach police spokeswoman Dani Moschella said Tuesday.
The conflict began at least nine years ago, after two men fought outside a nightclub. “And now it’s expanded to associates of the families who keep shooting back and forth,” Moschella said.
Police have tracked the warring relatives since 2014 and blame the feud for:
— Five homicides.
— Two attempted murders.
— Dozens of shootings.
— Innocent people getting hurt when the gunmen missed their targets.
— Damaged homes and cars.
Even kids get caught up in the gunfire. In July, a 10-year-old boy was shot while inside a home he was visiting, Moschella said. The child survived.
In the latest incident Monday night, Moschella said, “A blue Nissan SUV rolled up, a passenger window rolled down and someone inside who was holding a handgun fired multiple shots.”
Palmer was hit while he was near the corner of Northwest Eleventh Avenue and Northwest Third Terrace. A couple of bullets hit a wall and broke a window of a teacher’s lounge at nearby S.D. Spady Elementary School, Moschella said. No one on campus was hurt.
Delray Fire Rescue took Palmer to Delray Medical Center.
“His wounds are not life threatening,” Moschella said. “He will pull through, but his life will be affected by his injuries. He was an athlete, and it’s a tragic situation.”
The School District of Palm Beach County released a statement that said in part: “It’s important to reiterate that this was very late in the evening, and there were no students or staff on campus. School police and Delray Beach police are continuing to investigate the incident, and students may notice a heightened police presence on campus. All students and staff are safe.”
Moschella said, “It’s unknown if bullets fired by the person in the Nissan are the ones that struck the school, but the school was hit Monday night.”