JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — An animated Sheriff T.K. Waters denounced Jacksonville’s recent murders.
“One murder is one murder too many,” Sheriff Waters said.
Six people have been killed since last Friday. Saturday, a triple homicide took the lives of two adults and a 3-year-old. This morning, a 6-year-old was murdered while a 12-year-old and an adult were shot and wounded.
In a news conference on Wednesday, Sheriff Waters said when people start killing children it affects an entire community.
“It really does bother me that I don’t know if any of you have been on the scene of a child has been murdered, and actually walked up to a child that’s got bullet holes in it,” Sheriff Waters said.
According to Action News Jax’s count, 26 kids under the age of 18 have been injured in gun violence this year. According to Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office transparency page, 10 children have died in a murder case.
In a question asked by Action News Jax reporter Annette Guiterrez, “How do we curb that violence? I know we want outrage. But is there any way we can help protect the kids even more?”
Sheriff Waters responded by saying, “So, when I say outrage, I want people to be angry enough that we talk about it.”
Organizations like Families of Slain Children and Silent Women Speaking Foundation aim to help families that have lost loved ones to gun violence.
“Babies shouldn’t have to go through this... Just a bullet penetrate no innocent baby,” Beverly McClain, Founder and CEO of Families of Slain Children, said.
“We’ve done enough talking, you know, we have to put our foot down now, as community leaders...,” Haraka Carswell, Founder of Silent Women Speaking Foundation, said.
JSO is still looking for those involved in the recent shootings but the sheriff has a message for them.
“I vow to you that this agency will not rest until you are held accountable for your crimes,” Sheriff Waters said. “You took the lives of innocent children.”
The sheriff stressed that JSO and the community are working as partners to help combat this issue.
The new city’s budget is adding 40 more officers to JSO. Sheriff Waters said with the training required, we won’t see new boots on the ground for about another year.
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In a statement issued by the NAACP:
The Local Branch of the NAACP is outraged at the overnight killing of a six-year-old child. The senseless violence and shootings in our communities are unnecessary and need to end.
The African American leaders should continue to stand in solidarity as they did previously over the recent mass shooting and call out the violence and senseless killings in the black community. The NAACP is strongly speaking out against these atrocities and is demanding a cease-fire.
We strongly encourage anyone with information on this latest shooting or any other shooting to report it to the authorities immediately.
The Branch extends its deepest condolences to the families of these latest victims and offers any support to bring peace back to our communities.— NAACP
If you have any information on the recent murder cases, you are asked to contact JSO at 904-630-0500 or call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-8477 (TIPS).