Boy shot by stray slug a familiar story

4 children killed by gunfire in Jacksonville in 2005-06

Published On: Dec 19 2012 04:38:56 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 19 2012 10:14:38 PM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Laura Williams spoke out Tuesday night after her 5-year-old nephew Joshua Griffin was shot in the head while sitting inside his Northwest Jacksonville home.

Authorities said a single pellet grazed the boy's head.

"The violence has to stop. They are 100 percent thugs to me, walking up and shooting inside someone's house," Williams said. "You talk about a (5-year-old) child, it doesn't make any sense."

Those who live nearby are disturbed by this latest shooting.

"It's awful. It's awful. And things like this happen every day," resident Celeste Williams said.

She's right. In 2005 and 2006, gunfire claimed the innocent lives of 11-year-old Damian Hughes, 13-year-old Radarius Jackson, 13-year-old Shenice Holmes and 8-year-old Dreshawna Davis.

Fortunately, Joshua is doing OK and is expected to make a full recovery.

Chief Tom Hackney, of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, said Tuesday night's shooting could have been far more tragic.

"By the grace of God, we're not working a murder and just aggravated battery to a child," Hackney said.

Police canvassed the area but didn't find any witnesses or shooter.

Channel 4 crime and safety analyst Ken Jefferson said quick action by the family may have spared Joshua's life.

"At the first sound of gunfire, you want to make sure everyone in the house knows to hit the floor," Jefferson said.

For Laura Williams and her family, enough is enough.

"The gun violence has to stop," she said.

Police are still searching for the shooter. Anyone with any information about the shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.