18-, 19-year-olds latest in growing number of teens killed in Jacksonville

By Jenese Harris - Reporter/anchor, Steve Patrick - News4Jax digital managing editor, Frank Powers - Assignment manager

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The two most recent deaths being investigated by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office were both teenagers, the most recent of 17 teens also died violent deaths in the city this year.

Before dawn Tuesday, Curtis Booker, 19, was found shot to death lying in the intersection of Ionia and Union streets, near the Old City Cemetery. Neighbors reported shots fired in the area about 1:30 a.m.

Douglas McClendon Jr., 18, died at the hospital after he was shot on Christmas Eve near Old Kings Road. Police said he died after "an exchange" between him and a group of people in a car that was stopped nearby. Police said three people in the car -- one with an injury -- were taken into custody.

News4Jax saw bullet holes in the car as it was being processed by evidence technicians.

Police have not announced arrests in either case, but say both are active homicide investigations.

The number of teenagers killed by violence has increased from 13 in 2015 to 14 in 2016 to 17 this year.

Donald Foy, of Men Against Destruction - Defending Against Drugs and Social-Disorder (MAD DADS, said these and more than a dozen other deaths of teenagers this year are alarming and are destroying the community.

Killed by violence in Jacksonville in 2017

Jan. 1: Marquis Marquez, 17, was one of two people shot and killed at 28 East 18th Street.
Jan. 16: Khamoi Petersen, 16, is fatally shot in front of the Landing.
Jan. 26: Victortadao Hobbs Jr. 18, shot and killed at 10342 Agave Road.
May 12: DeQual Smiley, 17, fatally shot at 11291 Harts Road.
May 27: Zion Brown, 18, killed in a triple shooting at 6367 Raw Hyde Trial North. 
June 25: Darryl Mack, 19, shot to death while driving at 8943 Lem Turner Road.
July 9: Tradarius Alexander, 18, shot to death at 1069 Detroit Street.
July 12: Tyon Blair, 17, found shot to death along a retention pond behind 1073 Ironstone Drive North.
Aug. 1:  Ra'Kwon Backey, 19, shot and killed at 10325 Shelby Creek Drive South.
Sept.12: Henry Atkins, 14, killed in an accidental shooting at 4600 Ricker Road.
Sept. 12: Tyreak Wyche, 19, killed in a double shooting at the apartment complex at 5141 Shenadoah Avenue.
Nov. 2: Nicholas Williams, 18, killed in a double shooting at 10437 Gailwood Circle East.
Nov. 10: Walter Zelaya-Mendoza, 17, found shot to death in a wooded area at 4400 Melissa Court West.
Nov. 23: Jarvaris Platts, 19, fatally shot near the Vibe nightclub at 5900 Philips Highway. 
Dec. 12: Ariyan Johnson, 19, shot in a triple murder at 8916 India Avenue. One of the other victims was her baby.
Dec. 24: Douglas McClendon Jr. , 18, fatally shot at 9900 Lancashire Drive. 
Dec. 26: Curtis Booker, 19, found shot to death in the intersection of Ionia & Union Streets. 

"It's very very devastating," Foy said. "Every time I hear, I just say, 'Here is a child that has lost his life that could've been the next Barack Obama; the next president' the next doctor that has lost their lives."

Foy encourages parents to always ask their children where they are going and who they will be with.

"We are In the holiday season and children are out of school. Parents: Know where your children are and who they are with," Foy said.

If you know anything about the shootings of Booker, McClendon shooting or any of the other 135 homicides in Duval County in 2017, you are encouraged to call police. Callers can even remain anonymous and possibly earn a cash reward by calling Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.

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