ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — It’s rare for there to be a deadly shooting in St. Augustine, but that’s what happened in an alleyway early Thursday morning.
Just two blocks away from the Bridge of Lions, in the 200 block of Anastasia Boulevard, witnesses say a man died in the alley behind O'Steen's Restaurant and The Pub on Anastasia.
A woman we are calling "Julia" (because she is concerned for her safety) told First Coast News there was an argument around 1:45 a.m. Thursday.
Julia heard it from a home nearby.
"I heard the shouting," she said. "I got up to check it out, and I heard the shots. By the time I got to the window, all I saw was someone on the ground."
She saw a man run away down the alley.
"I could only see a white shirt. I could not see any defining features or anything like that."
As for the man lying in the alley, "He looked to be in his mid 30s. He was lying on his side. People rushed over to him and helped him onto his back. They were trying to keep him calm."
There is a surveillance camera in the alley.
"It was a strange way to start a work day," Stephen Gibson nodded. He works at a nearby restaurant and got to work around 5:30 a.m. to make cornbread, and he said the deceased man was still in the alley.
Gibson said the medical examiners were still on scene with the police.
"It's just a sad sight to see," Gibson said.
Speaking about this part of St. Augustine, he said, "This really isn’t a bad area."
People who work and live in the area say this stretch of Anastasia Boulevard has a couple new businesses that stay open late, and the patrons are louder.
Gibson commented, "People are just having a good time which is not a problem. But when it ends in something like this, it’s usually not good."
"St. Augustine is usually safe. These stories are few and far between, but it happens."