‘I’m not going to stop:’ Local mom demands justice for murdered son as Beaches police chiefs give safety update

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — Three Beaches police chiefs gave safety updates Wednesday night as one local mother continued to demand justice for her murdered son.


Katrina Williams lost her 21-year-old son, James Jones III, during a triple shooting in Jacksonville Beach on St. Patrick’s Day. He was the only person shot and killed that night.

Jones was a first-time dad who left a baby behind.

“Every day, [I’m] trying to push myself because I miss him so much. He played a big part in my life, in his child’s life, he missed every step of the way with her, and I have to fill that void now,” Williams told Action News Jax.

RELATED: ‘I’m broken:’ Family members remember 21-year-old father killed in Jacksonville Beach shooting

Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Gene Smith apologized to Williams for her loss but said investigations take time. Police are still actively working to solve the case.

Jacksonville Beach PD Spokesperson Tonya Tator says two people have been identified in the case, and they are working to get search warrants.

The department says all 86 surveillance cameras were working that night. Early on in the investigation, Tator says they received 20 helpful leads from tips.

“It was a combination of tips that was very helpful, what we did get from the public, and then combination with the cameras and investigative work,” Tator said.

READ: Jacksonville Beach Police searching for two suspects responsible in deadly overnight shooting

Williams wishes the department could do more but as a mom, she won’t stop fighting for justice.

“I will be his voice. I’m not going to stop. I’m not going to stop. I got to make sure he’s not swept - This is not swept up under the rug,” Williams said.

Jax Beach PD wants to assure Williams they are doing everything they can.

“We’re still working the case,” Tator said. “Don’t give up hope on us.”

This is still an active investigation.

Chief Smith says the agency has been working to keep shootings like this from happening again. Since then, they’ve hired five police officers from out of state, increased salaries, and added more positions in their budget.

The meeting also had the other two chiefs provide updates on the status of their city. Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach Pd said they a have new drug technology to scan whether there is fentanyl in a bag, so officers won’t have to use their hands. They discussed bike safety and parking improvements, as well.

But every Chief said their number one challenge is recruiting and retention. Neptune Beach Police Chief Michale Key said, “We have small budgets to solve big problems.”

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