Lake City Police searching for shooting suspect

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By: Aubrey Brown | WCTV Eyewitness News
September 14, 2018

LAKE CITY, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Lake City Police Department is searching for a man who allegedly shot another man during a robbery.

Around 2:00 p.m. Monday, officers were dispatched to the Souls Harbor Church of God in Christ on SW Lake Drive for a shooting.

Arriving officers found a 49-year-old man suffering from a gunshot wound to his left shoulder. He was airlifted to UF Health Center, but has since been released.

Witnesses told police the suspect began running towards Melrose Park Elementary School, and LCPD called in the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office to assist in a search for the gunman.

Melrose Park was placed on a full lockdown as authorities searched the area. Niblack Elementary and Richardson 6th Grade Center were also placed in “Controlled Movement” status, which means students were not allowed outside without an escort.

“The community was notified and security efforts were taken at the schools as a precaution, just to be safe," said LCPD Chief Dr. Argatha Gilmore.

Following an investigation, authorities identified the suspect as 26-year-old Joseph Witt. He's wanted on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and robbery. He's also currently on felony probation for robbery and smuggling contraband into prison.

Witt is 5'6" tall and weighs approximately 120 pounds. He is considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached. .

Anyone with knowledge of Witt’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Lake City Police Department at (386) 752-4344 or dial 911.

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