JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Local activists and religious leaders are desperate for change and are calling for cooperation and a change in the community’s mindset after a man was shot to death in broad daylight over the weekend on Edgewood Avenue near Diamond Street.
According to community leaders, more people need to adopt the mindset that law enforcement officers are vastly more effective when they have community support
Flowers could be seen Monday marking the spot where the man was gunned down Saturday while standing next to a food truck.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, when police showed up at the scene, they found that the man, who was described as being in his 20s, had been shot multiple times. He was rushed to a hospital, where he died.
Investigators said they learned that five or six men approached him with weapons in hand and fired more than 40 shots.
No one else was hit in all that gunfire, and because of that, police said the shooting may have been a targeted incident.
Police said that the shooters ran off and that they believe they got into a vehicle to get away. As of Monday, no arrests had been announced.
The Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the attack, but the part of it that astonishes and terrifies community leaders who News4JAX spoke with on Monday is that it happened in broad daylight.
On the same block where the shooting happened is Disciples of Christ Christian Fellowship Church, where Pastor Robert LeCount runs Quench the Violence, an organization dedicated to curbing violent crime in the city.
“What everybody knows by now, I lost my son to gun violence, and that’s what promoted me to start Quench the Violence as a nonprofit to try to help other parents,” LeCount said.
LeCount said the community’s safety is, in many ways, the responsibility of the community.
“I think it’s time now that the community ought to get angry and upset about all this killing going on in our city, and I know some of us sit back in our living room and on our table and we don’t really have no concern about it until we hit our house, but I tell you, you don’t want this to hit your home,” LeCount said. “We need the whole community, we need the whole city, we need all leaders to come together in order to get this resolved.”
News4JAX also spoke with community activist Dwight Brisbane, a supporter of Quench the Violence and Arms of Mercy.
“The only real the only way we can actually see a decrease and violent crime is if people, you know, if they say something about what they saw, you know, but most of the time, they’re terrified, you know, to mention anything about what they may or may have seen,” Brisbane said. “And it takes community and it takes people in the community to not want to see that in their community.”
LeCount and other community and religious leaders have been staging demonstrations each month against gun violence. They’re called Unity Marches, and the next one hosted by Quench the Violence is scheduled for 5 p.m. May 20 at the Duval County courthouse.
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