ShotSpotter, real-time crime center technology alerted police to recent Jacksonville murder

Gunfire technology brings hope to neighborhoods

A man is dead after an overnight shooting in Grand Park.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says the city’s new gunfire-sensing technology, ShotSpotter, alerted them to the shooting just before midnight and they were able to respond quickly.

Grand Park neighbors say they’re learning to live with violence. One neighbor asked not to be identified for her protection.

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“I wasn’t surprised, sadly, but truly,” she said.

Police say they found a 27-year-old man in the back seat of a white car with at least one gunshot wound near Effee Street after a traffic stop. He was taken to UF health Jacksonville where he was pronounced dead.

Police say one person was detained from the white vehicle and interviewed by detectives. Action News Jax spotted a white car being towed from the scene.

We’ve reached out to JSO asking if it’s the car the victim was in. Neighbors say they heard what sounded like a shotgun.

“I heard really loud shotgun blasts, like over and over,” the annonymous neighbor said.

According to ShotSpotter’s website, the company claims to have launched the technology in about 90 U.S. cities, including New York, Chicago and Miami.

Antiviolence activists like AJ Jordan who is a part of Men Against Destruction-Defending Against Drugs and Social-disorder, tells Action News Jax the technology is a step in the right direction.

“Unfortunately, the person did pass,” he said. “But ShotSpotter did get them to the scene quicker.”

Neighbors who say they’re traumatized by the violence found comfort in news of the devices helping police.

“They were so fast, they came really quick,” said the woman. “So the response was great.”

The technology is housed in the city’s new Real-Time Crime Centers.

For the first time, Action News Jax got an inside look at the all-in-one crime data and analytics hub.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams tells Action News Jax the system can alert police to gunshots and even locate vehicles or suspects in surveillance video.

“The system will do that for us,” said Williams.

Along with a live analyst, the centers combine computer-aided dispatch, ShotSpotter’s technology and Motorola’s Command Central Aware.

Williams tells Action News Jax the center has helped police make several arrests. Along with witness statements, he says they can build better cases.

“Not that people are not telling the truth,” said Williams. “But their perception of what they saw versus what we see on video being different, it would have changed the whole trajectory of the case.”

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