Family of '07 victim relives tragedy

Drive-by shootings of teens last weekend a difficult reminder

Donna Mills
Donna Mills

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Last weekend's tragedy in which two teens were shot in a Northwest Jacksonville home has a lot of people talking as police still search for the killer.

What happened has several local families remembering similar crimes that claimed the lives of their loved ones, including that of 29-year-old Donna Mills, who was killed when what's believed to be a stray bullet came in her window of her Confederate Pointe Road apartment on the Westside in 2007.

Mills' family still hasn't gotten that closure because an arrest hasn't been made. They say the pain doesn't go away and is still there every day, especially when they hear about other people getting killed in Jacksonville.

"It was around 2 o'clock in the morning and a bullet went through the window and hit her in the chest and killed her instantly," said Sarah Mills, Donna's sister.

It's been six years, but the 29-year-old's death still remains unsolved.

"Who would shoot into someone's home when you know there are people who are living there, innocent people?" Sarah Mills said.

Last weekends shootings were like salt in the wounds for Mills. Two teens were shot in an apparent drive-by. Police call them innocent victims and not the intended targets. Thirteen-year-old Jazmine Shelton died and 14-year-old Megan Simmons is in critical condition.

"Your heart just breaks for the families because I know what they're going through and what they're going to continue to go through," Mills said. "I would have never thought that six years later I would still have the terrible days, but you do. You never get over it."

Channel 4 crime analyst Ken Jefferson said while a lot of time has passed in Donna Mill's case, there is still hope for closure.

"A lot of times they depend on jailhouse talk, jailhouse chatter," Jefferson said. "You have prisoners that are incarcerated and they sometimes relieve their minds by talking about the crimes that they've commit or crimes that they are familiar with that someone else has committed. So those are good investigative tools as well. So police will use whatever investigative tools that they have or what they actually get during the course of this investigation."

"I mean, I pray for it every day, multiple times a day," Sarah Mills said. "But I know that even if she doesn't get justice here on Earth, her killer will be brought to justice."

Police say they're still working the case and ask anyone with information to come forward. Jefferson said even if someone has the tiniest bit of information, it could be just what detectives were looking for to solve the case.

The Justice Coalition is offering an $11,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.