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Mayor reflects on killing of toddler 1 year after shooting

Mayor Lenny Curry urges citizens to improve public safety

Aiden McClendon, 22 months old, was sitting in a car on Spearing Street with his mother and grandmother January 29 shots were fired into the car and a nearby house. McClendon, who was the only person hit by the gunfire, died at the hospital.
Aiden McClendon, 22 months old, was sitting in a car on Spearing Street with his mother and grandmother January 29 shots were fired into the car and a nearby house. McClendon, who was the only person hit by the gunfire, died at the hospital.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One year after the shooting death of 22-month-old Aiden McClendon, Mayor Lenny Curry is reflecting on the tragedy.

Aiden's family members gathered for a balloon release in his honor Sunday on the east side.

The mayor wrote an open letter published in The Florida Times-Union reflecting on baby Aiden's life, challenging citizens to improve public safety.

In the letter, Curry said this day last year was one of the most difficult of his career as he had to inform media, along with the sheriff and other city leaders, that Aiden was shot while sitting in a car with his mother and grandmother.

Aiden was an innocent bystander in a drive-by shooting targeted at a rival gang member.

A 16-year-old was charged with murder in Aiden's death.

The mayor included an important message to citizens in the paper Sunday.

"We should be motivated to come together and take action to improve public safety without our city," Curry said.

Curry spoke in the article about his plan to improve public safety. He said he plans to seek passage of a budget for police and community service officers, as well as police overtime to monitor high crime areas.


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