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Mother of Jacksonville teen killed in Westside shooting calls for justice

Family, friends remember Henry Atkins at vigil

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The family of a Jacksonville teen fatally shot outside a shuttered Westside day care this week called for justice in his death during a vigil Thursday night. 

The teen's mother told News4Jax police suspect the shooting that killed her son, 14-year-old Henry Atkins, was accidental and none of the minors with him have been charged.

Atkins was dropped off at a fire station near Melvin and Ricker roads Tuesday with a gunshot wound, said Sgt. Mark Musser with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. The teen did not survive.

Musser said Atkins was shot behind a closed day care near Indian Lakes Drive and Ricker Road. Three minors were brought in questioning after flagging down a passerby to take Atkins to the fire station.

Atkins' mother told News4Jax the teen who was holding the gun when it fired has not been arrested. The case has been referred to the State Attorney's Office for possible charges, but remains under active investigation.

"It's a dangerous kind of situation that they're living in. They are in and out, in gangs, (doing) drugs or whatever the situation is," said Tyrone Austin during Thursday's vigil. 

Tears were shed as loved ones came together to remember Atkins and share their memories of him. 

"Every time I'm alone, I just cry and cry," said friend De'ja Johnson. 

Johnson said there is one last thing she wishes she could tell Atkins.

"Henry, I love you, and stay out of danger. Make sure you choose the friends you're with because you only have one chance to live," she said. "You only have one life to live."