Teen says Jacksonville gangs have tried to recruit him

by: Jamie Smith Updated:

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —

After spending nearly a decade behind bars for various crimes, former gang member Ivan Brown now spends his time trying to make amends by counseling youngsters all over the city of Jacksonville away from gangs.  

"The last five shootings we had [were] all gang-related," said Brown.  

A 15-year-old from Northwest Jacksonville who had two teen relatives shot this month told Action News why he thinks gangs are at the heart of the violence. 

"It starts out by shooting and all that. If somebody on the other side of the hood get killed, the beef gonna start from right there," he said.  

Sheriff John Rutherford spoke to Action News last week about growing concerns over gang violence. 

"It's somebody being dissed or something like that. It's not fighting over corners or drugs or any of that stuff," said Rutherford.  

Brown agrees with the sheriff that teens with no direction are fighting over small disagreements. Brown said more than a half a dozen victims this month were shot in the leg intentionally because these teens are not ready to kill.  

"They're making a point. 'You stepped on my foot. I'm not trying to kill you because I know you,'" said Brown.