JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The two most recent deaths being investigated by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office were both teenagers, the most recent of 17 teens also died violent deaths in the city this year.
Before dawn Tuesday, Curtis Booker, 19, was found shot to death lying in the intersection of Ionia and Union streets, near the Old City Cemetery. Neighbors reported shots fired in the area about 1:30 a.m.
Douglas McClendon Jr., 18, died at the hospital after he was shot on Christmas Eve near Old Kings Road. Police said he died after "an exchange" between him and a group of people in a car that was stopped nearby. Police said three people in the car -- one with an injury -- were taken into custody.
News4Jax saw bullet holes in the car as it was being processed by evidence technicians.
Police have not announced arrests in either case, but say both are active homicide investigations.
The number of teenagers killed by violence has increased from 13 in 2015 to 14 in 2016 to 17 this year.
Donald Foy, of Men Against Destruction - Defending Against Drugs and Social-Disorder (MAD DADS, said these and more than a dozen other deaths of teenagers this year are alarming and are destroying the community.
"It's very very devastating," Foy said. "Every time I hear, I just say, 'Here is a child that has lost his life that could've been the next Barack Obama; the next president' the next doctor that has lost their lives."
Foy encourages parents to always ask their children where they are going and who they will be with.
"We are In the holiday season and children are out of school. Parents: Know where your children are and who they are with," Foy said.
If you know anything about the shootings of Booker, McClendon shooting or any of the other 135 homicides in Duval County in 2017, you are encouraged to call police. Callers can even remain anonymous and possibly earn a cash reward by calling Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.