Action News Jax Investigates: Growing gang problem in Jacksonville high schools

Action News Jax Investigates the growing problem of gangs in local school.

It comes after we showed you exclusive video of a suspected gang member being arrested at First Coast High School for attempted murder.

“It’s always been gangs, here, there, never have not been,” said Ivan Brown.

Brown said he's a former gang member. Action News Jax spoke with Brown last year when police addressed the gang problem here in Jacksonville. Back then, Brown said there were at least two known gangs in every high school in Jacksonville. We asked him how many are in the schools now.

“I would say probably, no less than probably eight, five that are real,” said Brown.

We have exclusive video from a worried parent of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Gang Unit arresting 17-year old Steven Wiggins on First Coast High School’s campus on Monday.

It’s not clear from the report whether Wiggins was a current student, or a dropout.

This police report said Wiggins was charged with attempted murder, armed robbery and more after shooting at TJ Smith and another young man.

Tuesday, we spoke to TJ’s mother. She said her son got caught in the crossfire of a shootout

“He didn’t do nothing to nobody that bad to be shot up like that. I know he didn’t. They left him for dead, but he recovered, thank God,” said Eunice Smith.

“This is a serious charge, particularly for a 17-year old. If he’s tried as an adult, he’s looking at significant time, 30-40 years,” said Action News Jax Crime and Safety Expert Ken Jefferson.

“This incident with this arrest goes to show you that Jacksonville has gang activity that’s ongoing. The Sheriff’s Office is now realizing and trying to be proactive with it and doing something about these gangs. Nothing good comes out of a gang, unless you come out of a gang,” said Jefferson.

We reached out to both JSO and Duval County Public Schools to ask them about the gang problem in Jacksonville.

DCPS released the following statement: "The existence of gangs and their potential to grow in Duval County and our schools is a shared concern by the entire community."

We are still waiting to hear back from JSO.

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