Grandparents killed by grandson in triple murder, family member says

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Grandparents were the target of a triple murder in Northwest Jacksonville Sunday after an ongoing family dispute, according to a family member.

Uneeda Hardy and Gregory Merritt, both in their early 60′s, along with a family friend were murdered. The couple’s nephew told Action News Jax it was the result of a family feud. He did not want to go on camera or give a statement but showed a picture from Facebook of the couple which neighbors confirmed lived in the home.


Ja-Darrius Jones, 18, was arrested by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office hours after the shooting on Bridges Road and charged with three counts of second-degree murder. The family member said he was Hardy and Merritt’s grandson.

Police said they found Jones at a nearby house and chased him briefly through the neighborhood after he escaped through a window.

Neighbors said there was a heavy police presence on VC Johnson Road, about one mile from the shooting scene.

Read: One person is dead after a double shooting in Northwest Jacksonville

“We got to get back to the basics and teach in school that violence is not the answer,” Adam Houser, a neighbor, said. “We just have to pull together as a community and the best thing you can do is pray for him.”

JSO responded to the scene on Bridges Road at 12:30 Sunday afternoon. Bullet holes could be seen outside the house Monday. The landlord said the couple lived in the home for about two decades.

Read: 1 person killed, another injured in Sherwood Forest neighborhood shooting, JSO says

Action News Jax Law & Safety Expert Dale Carson, with years of experience as a former officer in Miami, said deadly family feuds are more common than one might expect.

“You don’t have any impulse control. That is certainly true in a family setting where you have young men who are disenfranchised.”

Carson said its possible the charges could be upgraded to first-degree murder depending on the nature of the shooting.

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Read: Jacksonville City Council to introduce bill to combat ‘messages of hate’ projections

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