76ºF

4 hurt in 2 Northwest Jacksonville shootings

JSO: Gang unit investigating shooting that left 3 wounded on Robert Street

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Four people, two of them teenagers, were hospitalized after two separate shootings late Sunday night in Northwest Jacksonville.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, the first shooting was reported about 9:40 p.m. on Robert Street near New Kings Road. The second was reported just after 10:30 p.m. on 9th Street and Myrtle Avenue, just a few miles away.

Since they were reported less than an hour apart and all four victims were shot in the legs, police are trying to determine if the shootings are related.

The shooting on Robert Street involved a 16-year-old girl, a 25-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman. They were outside when a car drove up and someone inside started firing. All three were taken to a hospital and are expected to recover.

Less than an hour later, a 14-year-old boy was also shot in the leg. Police are still working to find out what led up to that shooting. 

"We don't have any information at this time to know if they're related,” JSO Lt. John Gay said. “We don't have any leads to say that they're connected in any way.”

Neighbors near the shootings said the violence is a serious problem.

“It’s just the time and the place of what happened. You can’t predict what’s going to happen or where it’s going to happen,” Cahare Watkins said. “It could have been my kid. It could have been me up here last night that got shot. It’s really about trying to find a safe area, find somewhere where you feel comfortable, safe, where there's not so much crime.”

Trying to protect the community is something that A.J. Jordan of activist group MAD DADS has been doing weekend after weekend, but he said the work requires everyone's help.

“We need the community to stand up and do their part,” Jordan said. “They have to take a more active role in getting these criminals off the streets.”

JSO’s Gang Investigations Unit is investigating the shooting on Robert Street.

According to the FBI’s national gang report, membership is up in 49 percent of the areas evaluated across the country, but overall gang-related crime is up nationwide.

Police are asking for help in both of shooting cases. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS. You can remain anonymous.