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To stop the killings, community must 'start telling what they know'

4 young men shot, killed in Northwest Jacksonville since Oct. 6

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After four families lost young people to gun violence in Northwest Jacksonville in just over three weeks, a community group is once again urging people to break the code of silence.

"The community can step up and start telling what they know," said Donald Foy of MAD DADS (Men Against Destruction Defending Against Drugs and Social Disorder) Jacksonville.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office confirmed two of four deaths since Oct. 6 were murders. The most recent homicide happened Monday night when 24-year-old Desmond White was murdered on Royal Court Lane. It was the 86th murder this year in Jacksonville.

White's father is a well-known Jacksonville radio personality, who posted on social media, "Desmond White Lives."

White's death was the fourth in that part of town in recent weeks.

Tynikkia Tanner, 21, was shot and killed Oct. 6 at the Vista Apartments, formerly known as Cleveland Arms
Derian McGoogin, 23, was shot and killed Oct. 13 on Dublin Court
A teenager who police have not named was shot to death Oct. 21 on West 45th Street

Foy believes someone knows who is killing these young people, but that too many people are silenced by fear.

"How do we expect the police to solve it and they weren't even there? So we, as a community, have got to break the code of silence and start telling what we know," Foy said.

No arrests have been made for the two murders. The other two deaths are still considered homicides by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Foy said the recent mass shooting of six people outside of the laundromat on A. Philip Randolph Boulevard less than an hour before a Jaguars game was to begin about one-half mile away is a prime example of the code of silence.

"There was a whole crowd of people out there and you are going to tell me nobody saw anything and nobody knows anything?"

None of those victims died, but three were initially reported to be in critical condition. Police have not released their names or any update in the hunt for whoever fired dozens of shots at people on the sidewalk.

"We as victims have rights and our right is to be in a crime, violent drug-free neighborhood," Foy said.


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