JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Despite the ongoing pandemic that has kept the community in check for part of the year, Jacksonville continued a worrying trend of rising gun violence-related homicide rates in 2020.
The city surpassed the record number of murders in 2019 by more than a dozen.
According to News4Jax records, 176 men, women, teenagers and children in Jacksonville cut their lives due to violence in 2020. This corresponds to 162 murders reported in 2019.
News4Jax has tracked murders in the city for two decades, and the number closest to the city was 152 reported murders in 2007, which recorded 28 police shootings that add to the total number of homicides.
(Editor’s Note: Our records are slightly different from those published by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office as JSO, on an investigative basis, contains some murders for 2020 that did not occur in either the calendar year or city limits.)
Gun violence increased dramatically in 2020. At least 554 people were shot dead in Jacksonville, up more than 42% from the total of 389 in 2019. News4Jax records show that 68 people were shot dead in the city in July alone.
Deadly gun violence was also underway.
At least 152 of the murders in the city involved a gun, up more than 22% from 2019 when 124 of the murders in the city involved a firearm. (This number could be higher, but in some cases the cause of death is unknown or has not been disclosed by the authorities.)
NOTE: For clarification, all murders are murders, but not all murders are murders. The annual total for murders will be the larger of the two figures per year as it includes other types of murders, such as homicide. B. those committed in self-defense or, in some cases, manslaughter.
News4Jax’s crime and security expert Ken Jefferson, a former Jacksonville police officer, said it was clear the numbers are moving in the wrong direction, but the solution could be simple.
“It all boils down to relationships,” Jefferson said. “When you have relationships with your city guides, your sheriff’s office, your police department, and your community and they are dedicated to their work, you will see a decrease.”
Jefferson believes community policing is part of the equation to reduce crime in the year ahead.
“The way you build relationships is that you have to get out of the people you serve,” Jefferson said. “You can’t just walk into a neighborhood when someone calls you. You have to go in there when nothing is wrong. “
Another worrying trend that we noticed mid-year continued through 2020 when the 32218 area code saw a sharp rise in fatal crime. The zip code, which reported only five murders in 2019, rose to 19 murders in 2020, eight of which were on Harts Road alone.
The zip code 32254, on the other hand, decreased from 12 in 2019 to eight in 2020.
The murders in the city became even more concentrated than in previous years. Only four of Duval County’s 33 zip codes accounted for nearly half (48.9%) of the murders in the city.
Once again, 32209 led the way with 29 murders, followed by:
- 32208: 20
- 32218: 19
- 32210: 18
Of the 86 murders in these four zip codes, almost 92% involved armed violence.
The closest zip code was 32211 and included the Arlington area where there was a riot of violence in 2020. There were 13 murders in 2020, including the tragic stabbing death of 6-year-old Atara Yisrael, who was killed by her mother, according to police.
She was one of two young girls who lost the city to violence in 2020. Kearria Attison, 5, was killed by a stray snail in a $ 180 shootout between four men.
A total of 31 female victims were killed in 2020, 10 of them in incidents of domestic violence.
Editor’s Note: Since the inception of Marsy’s Law and its narrow interpretation by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, News4Jax has relied on sources to provide information on murder cases that typically come from law enforcement, including the location of some crimes. The data we have provided in this article and on the map below, including the ages of the victims and the location where crimes were reported, was compiled from these sources, law enforcement agencies, and our local reporting.
If you know the name of a murder victim who isn’t on our map, please email [email protected] and we’ll update our database.
Murders where the location was unknown or unclear are displayed near the center of the map on the St. Johns River.
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