Just a day after a shootout injured six people and three days after a 3-year-old was struck down by gunfire, now a 6-year-old boy has been killed in a shooting that also wounded a 12-year-old girl and an adult.
“Quite frankly it’s absolutely heartbreaking," said Assistant Chief J.D. Stronko. "I hate it, our detectives hate it. But I can tell you that I’ll put our homicide unit and our violent crimes unit against any in the country. We have the best men and women working hard to solve these crimes. And we have a pretty good track record of solving these crimes. To the extent that we're able to do that, we’re going to pour all the resources in. The sheriff gives us the best resources, the best tools to try to identify these individuals who commit these crimes, and we’ll do our best to bring them to justice."
It makes 20 shooting victims and seven dead in five days in Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach.
Jacksonville homicide tracker: Here's who is dying and where in 2023
The latest happened about 1:45 a.m. Wednesday at the Hollybrook Homes Apartments at 104 King St. The three victims were shot in one of the apartments and witnesses saw a male fleeing the scene on foot. The girl and 29-year-old man are expected to recover, and Stronko said witnesses are cooperating. Due to Marsy's Law for victims' privacy, he couldn’t say the family connection with those involved. He did say there is no early indications it’s gang-related.
Sheriff T.K. Waters later provided a new detail that the two children were asleep in their beds when they were struck by a single bullet.
"I am here to tell Jacksonville that I am heartbroken, sickened and appalled by the recent acts of violence experienced in our community," the sheriff said at an evening news conference.
He vowed that his agency will make every effort to hold these individuals accountable and called for the community to stand in solidarity with his officers.
Mayor Donna Deegan also provided this statement while overseas in London:
“My heart breaks for the families impacted by this recent wave of shootings," she said. "Everyday gun violence does not have to be who we are as a city. We are taking local action to prevent it, including a revival of the Jacksonville Journey with a focus on literacy, prevention and intervention programs that address the root causes of violent crime. We are also developing a safe gun storage public education campaign with Sheriff Waters to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and stop accidental shootings.”
Times-Union records show nine youths 17 and younger have been shot and killed this year in Jacksonville and several others maimed. That compares to 10 shot and killed all of last year.
"Absolutely these are the phone calls you do not want to get in the middle of the night,” Stronko lamented.
On Saturday, Stronko got another one of those calls after a group of five people including 3-year-old Kae’Lynn Marie Matthews went to the JTB Apartments on A.C. Skinner Parkway apparently to conduct the private sale of a dog when a dispute ensued outside and several shots were fired. Four of the five were struck, killing the child and two men, according to the Sheriff's Office.
The Times-Union has learned through court records that a 23-year-old man was arrested, but not for the shooting. He was charged the next day with possession of not more than 20 grams of marijuana. The Times-Union is not naming him because the arrest report does not indicate he was there when it happened outside his apartment. It does say several firearms were located.
The arrest report also identifies the other two victims who died as Jaquann Tarshon Mitchell, 23, and Keonte Deshaun Johnson, 24.
Following are the other youth gunshot fatalities. Note that most of the names have not been released due to Marsy's Law. The ones that are included have been identified by family or agreed to waive the law.
2500 block of North Davis Street
3 p.m. Sept. 21: Officers were dispatched to gunshots and discovered there were two victims, a 16-year-old boy who died at the hospital and a man in non-life-threatening condition. One was taken to the hospital by citizens in the area. The Sheriff's Office at the time said it was unknown if the individuals knew each other. No other details were released, but two TV news stations described it as an exchange of gunfire.
10700 block of Java Drive
1:30 p.m. Sept. 2: Me’kel Queen, 15, was shot while hanging out with some friends, according to witnesses who also reported there was some type of dispute. Police arrested Bobby Trustin Dann, also 15. The arrest report lists this as a marijuana transaction.
5500 block of Shady Pine Street
2:45 p.m. Aug. 14: Police said a 9-year-old shot a 6-year-old boy in the head in an apparent accident and that an adult was home at the time. But it was not deemed criminal. Action News Jax reported the two were brothers. No charges have been filed.
1500 block of South Lane Avenue
8 p.m. July 20: While detectives were doing covert surveillance and enforcement regarding a fatal shooting earlier in the day in the area of Cocktails Bar & Lounge and Riverbanks Apartments, they were alerted to several gunshots in a parking lot. A 17-year-old boy was located outside a vehicle suffering from a gunshot wound to the head and later died. Police believe it was in retaliation for the prior shooting in which Prince Mandrell Stubbs Jr., 35, was arrested on Aug. 4. For the second shooting, 17-year-old Tyler Tamazz Boose was arrested on Aug. 1. One of the arrest reports included another juvenile involved and recommended for prosecution.
3600 block of Effee Street
9:30 p.m. May 17: Officers located two juveniles and one man all with life-threatening injuries. The victims were transported by rescue personnel to a hospital where one died, 16-year-old Adrian Lee Mckinzie. Television reports indicated a dog also was shot and officers were in gang-unit gear. His mother said he had survived a previous shooting and was trying to turn his life around, but it wasn‘t gang-related. He made music under the name Ybeezy. The incident report lists all three as potential victims, so this may have been a shootout or self-defense. Then a woman was shot in an arm at Mckinzie’s memorial a few days later.
9600 block of Baymeadows Road
3:25 a.m. April 1: Mayke Vogel, 16, was shot and killed in the parking lot of an apartment complex after leaving a birthday party that had multiple people attending. As the party was ending, police said people inside heard gunshots and came outside to find the victim. Several different shell casings were on scene.
2100 block of West 17th Street
7 p.m. March 31: Officers located a 17-year-old boy with a single gunshot wound to the head but still alive. Little else has been released and he must have died a day or two later because that's when the Sheriff's Office added him to its murder totals.
Here are some other notable youth shootings this year.
7100 block of East Ken Knight Drive
2:15 a.m. Aug. 4: A 12-year-old girl was shot one time in the stomach in a cut-through area between Washington Heights Estates townhomes and Calloway Cove apartments. She is still recovering. On Aug. 9 police arrested Darion Yakem Sumpter, 21. The arrest report said the victim’s 16-year-old brother said earlier in the night he had gone to the Calloway Cove apartments behind his to see a friend who was visiting. He told investigators he overheard a conversation about jacking someone of his firearm. He decided to leave because he could tell something was going to go down and yelled to his sister to open the door because it was locked. When she did he assumed she stayed inside, but she apparently went outside and ended up getting struck by the gunfire.
1500 block of West 19th Street
9:15 p.m. July 20: Police said two to three assailants fired multiple rounds into a home occupied by seven people. One round struck a 9-year-old who lived there in the throat but survived. On Aug. 2 the Sheriff's Office announced the arrests of two boys, 14 and 15 years old. The Times-Union is not naming them due to their young ages, but they are charged with attempted murder and shooting deadly missiles. The arrest report says four rounds were fired from the sidewalk and two penetrated the front door. Security video shows two individuals approach on foot, and one continues up toward the sidewalk in front of the home and the other pauses on the grass near the curb. The first walks toward the curb briefly before both walk up to the sidewalk in front of the home. A couple of minutes later they're seen running down the sidewalk, and two initial gunshots are heard, followed by two more. A single muzzle flash is observed coming from the area of the pair. The motive was not specified.
8700 block of Newton Road
11 a.m. May 2: Police said a 16-year-old was in a parking lot when she was struck in the neck by gunfire but was expected to be OK. Little else was released, although a person in the incident report said the girl hangs out with a bad crowd.
Anyone with information in any unsolved cases can contact the Sheriff’s Office at (904) 630-0500 or First Coast Crime Stoppers at (866) 845-8477 (845-TIPS) or text **8477 to remain anonymous and be eligible for rewards. Or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org or email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Triple shooting kills 6-year-old, wounds 12-year-old in Jacksonville