JSO Responds to Crisis: Over 30 Children Shot in Jacksonville This Year Sparks Urgent Action

JSO Responds to Crisis: Over 30 Children Shot in Jacksonville This Year Sparks Urgent Action

With just over a week remaining in the year, News4JAX has obtained information indicating that a minimum of 30 children have been subjected to gunfire in Jacksonville so far in 2023, with 11 of them tragically losing their lives.

This unsettling trend has prompted a collaborative effort between the city and the sheriff’s office to encourage responsible firearm ownership and ensure the secure storage of weapons.

This year in Jacksonville, a heartbreaking incident involved the accidental shooting and death of a 6-year-old by their own sibling. Additionally, separate incidents saw an 8-year-old and a 9-year-old being shot, fortunately surviving the attacks.

These cases collectively account for at least 30 instances of juveniles falling victim to gun violence across the city in 2023.

“One incident or one bad, terrible, horrible incident freak accident with a firearm is too many. So, we want to make sure that we can get that message across,” Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters stated.

Waters and Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan are collaborating on the new campaign.

“Proper gun storage is fundamental to safe, responsible gun ownership,” Mayor Donna Deegan stated in campaign-promoting video on X.

Numerous firearms were taken from residences, with a significant portion originating from vehicles. These are referred to as crime guns, as criminals purchase and trade them, frequently employing them in acts of violence such as robberies and homicides.

The sheriff highlighted that many individuals store their guns beneath car seats, in the center console, or in the glove compartment. This practice poses a challenge when they are away, providing thieves with a straightforward opportunity to pilfer these weapons.

Waters also conveyed a message to parents who lawfully own guns.

“Take them with you. Carry them with you at times when you when you’re going places, and don’t leave them it’s unsecured in your house with your kids,” Waters said.

“If you have it with you, you don’t have to have a locking mechanism on it. If it’s in a room with you, and when you’re in your house, it doesn’t have to be locked, we just ask that. If you leave that room, if you leave the house, just lock it if you don’t take it with you,” Waters stated.

With more than two years of expertise in news and analysis, Eileen Stewart is a seasoned reporter. Eileen is a respected voice in this field, well-known for her sharp reporting and insightful analysis. Her writing covers a wide range of subjects, from politics to culture and more.