Shooting death in St Johns County under investigation

A 20-year-old Mandarin man who was shot in the woods in St Johns County was taken by friends to an area hospital, where he died late yesterday afternoon.

The homicide investigation is being conducted by the Major Crimes Unit of the St Johns County Sheriff’s Office who is in the process of collecting physical evidence as well as statements from witnesses to the shooting.

Deputies responded to an undeveloped area connected to Hickory Forrest Road, near Stratton Boulevard off SR-16; where officials say the shooting occurred sometime after 4:00 p.m. Saturday.

The shooting victim, Kahlil R. Cooke, was self-transported by friends to Baptist Hospital South in a private vehicle. Emergency medical personnel in the trauma unit pronounced Cooke dead.

Investigators have identified several individuals who were either present at the time or may have knowledge of the shooting and have informed local Historic City News reporters that the “incident appears to be isolated between individuals who were meeting in the area”.

Crime Scene Technicians are currently processing two scenes; the area of Hickory Forrest Road where the shooting occurred, and the transport vehicle which was secured at Baptist Hospital South.

At this hour, detectives are continuing to identify and interview persons who may have knowledge of the incident to garner specific details into the events leading up to the shooting.

Anyone who may have any information on the incident is asked to contact detectives with the Major Crimes Unit at 904-824-8304 or, to be eligible for a reward, call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-277-8477 (TIPS). You can remain anonymous.