• Murray Hill shooting victim says violence out of control

    By: Lorena Inclán


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - James Simmons, 52, said he’s lucky to be alive and able to walk. He was shot in the lower back while riding his bike in Murray Hill on Labor Day.

    He is recovering with family but said someone needs to speak out about the violence, which he calls out of control.  

    Simmons said his license was taken away five years ago, so he depends on his bicycle to get to work. He was on his way home Monday near McDuff Avenue when he heard shots.

    “I heard ‘pop pop,’ just as I looked back, he was shooting again,” said Simmons.

    According to Simmons, there were three shots, but he couldn't get a good look at the suspects because one of them had a mask on. It’s unclear if both suspects were shooting.

    “I grabbed my side, I was bleeding and I just kept on riding,” said Simmons.

    Once he got to a nearby dollar store, a passerby helped call 911.

    Simmons doesn't believe he was the target; he believes the shooters were aiming at a car.

    “It's getting way out of control,” said Simmons.

    According to JSO’s crime-mapping data, in the last year the area of Murray Hill where Simmons was shot has been the scene of five murders and more than 100 aggravated assaults.

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