JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The person shot and killed on 13th Street near Canal Street about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday was 16-year-old Devron Crowden, police have confirmed.
Crowden's body was found lying in the road near a bus stop. Family members said Crowden was a Raines High School student who was a member of Grand Park Athletic Association and played football there.
A family friend told News4Jax that Crowden's mother had just dropped him off at the bus stop, so he could catch the bus to school.
A short time later, officers responding to a report of gunfire found Crowden's body with multiple gunshot wounds. Neighbors said they heard as many as 15 shots and more than a dozen shell casing markers could be seen at the scene.
"He was standing at the bus stop waiting to go to school, not sell drugs, go to school, and he got shot and killed. That's a problem," said neighbor Darryl Alston, who knew Crowden.
Alston's son played football with Crowden him at the Grand Park Athletic Association, and his daughter attended Raines High School with him. Alston said the community has to work to stop the violence themselves.
"We cannot point the finger at nobody any longer," he said. "The time is out for that. We have to come up with solutions, just the safety of all of these children, especially in Grand Park."
News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said the number of shell casing markers is telling.
"When you see so many shell casings on the scene, that lets me know that the person was either returning fire or whoever was doing the shooting really wanted to make sure that he shot the person up and wanted to kill them," Smith said.
He said it's too soon to tell if this shooting is retaliation for a previous killing or shooting. There have been several in the area in recent months.
Now with the loss of another life, Patrice McKnight is hoping peace prevails.
"I am hoping that they deal with it in a peaceful way," McKnight said. "I'm hoping that they recognize with all of the killings that are going on that possibly you're next. You're next."
McKnight's son and Crowden were close friends, and she said he often came over to her house to work on dirt bikes.
"(He was) very respectful, very respectful, very funny and outgoing. Never disrespectful," McKnight said. "He was big baby. Big baby sums it up."
Crowden's family didn't want to make a statement Wednesday and said they are just trying to come together to support each other through this difficult time.
Police said they had not located any witnesses to the shooting, but they were knocking on doors and canvassing the area looking for anyone who heard or saw anything.
Anyone with information about the shooting or who saw or heard anything suspicious in that area early Wednesday morning is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.