River City split: Deadly violence in Jacksonville clustered on west side of St. Johns

Nearly two-thirds of city’s 164 homicides in 2022 were reported in areas west of the river

Photo from scene.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Gunfire, crime scene tape, streets blocked by police cruisers.

For some neighborhoods in Jacksonville, sights like these connected to violent crime are fairly common. For others, they are rare.

And it all depends on which side of the St. Johns River you’re on.

When we dug into the numbers, our records showed that 121 of the homicides in Jacksonville in 2022 were reported in areas west of the St. Johns River (see interactive map below*). That’s 74% of the 164 homicides for the year.

(Editor’s Note: Our records differ somewhat from those the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office releases because for investigative reasons, JSO includes some homicides for 2022 that did not occur in the calendar year.)

According to News4JAX records, a third of the city’s homicides in 2022 took place in just three of Jacksonville’s 34 ZIP codes. And all three of those – 32206, 32209 and 32210 – are west of the St. Johns River.

The 32209 ZIP code, which includes the Moncrief and Durkeeville neighborhoods of Northwest Jacksonville, has long been the most violent in the city and remained so last year with 20 homicides reported there – the most of any one zone.

The most high-profile murder in that area was the drive-by shooting of 13-year-old Prince Holland in December. Holland was gunned down and an 11-year-old and an adult were injured while they were riding home from football tryouts.

Homicides month-by-month

Both 32206 – which covers areas like Brentwood, Longbranch and the Eastside – and 32210, which is Jacksonville’s Westside, reported 17 homicides each in 2022.

The only other zones with double-digit homicide counts last year were 32208, which had 12, and 32218 and 32244, which had 10 each.

All three of those zones are also on the west side of the St. Johns River with 32208 and 32218 covering chunks of the Northside and 32244 covering a southern portion of the Westside.

Another high-profile murder from last year took place in the 32218 area: the fatal shooting of football player Rashaud Fields just hours after he graduated from Raines High School.

Most of the other homicides west of the river were scattered, but eight were reported in ZIP code 32208, which includes parts of Riverside and the Westside.

As for the east side of the St. Johns, the two areas that proved to be pockets of violence last year were Arlington and the San Marco/South Metro areas, which reported seven homicides each.

Overall, the number of homicides was up significantly, more than 26%, from the 130 reported in 2021.

Homicides over last 17 years

Just before the end of the year, News4JAX met with a representative from the anti-crime group MAD DADS, who read a list of 2022′s known murder victims.

“As a community, we have to have the right heart to do the right thing. We can’t always wait on the police to do the right thing. We have to take control of our communities,” AJ Jordan said. “The community has to step up and give them the answers.”

*Editor’s Note: Since the introduction of Marsy’s Law, News4Jax has relied on sources to provide some homicide-related information that would typically come from law enforcement, including the location of some crimes. The data we put forth in this article and the map above, including ages of victims and where crimes were reported, was compiled from those sources, law enforcement and our reporting in the field.

If you know the name of a homicide victim who is not named on our map, please email webteam@wjxt.com, and we will update our database.

About the Author:

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.