JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – More than 80 percent of the homicides in Jacksonville last year involved gun violence, according to News4Jax records.
Community activists are calling the issue an emergency.
The meeting on Main Street comes just a day after another deadly mass shooting in the Spring Park area of Jacksonville. Wednesday’s shooting killed Willie Addison, 25, and wounded five others after a rap event at a gentlemen's club, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said.
It was the fifth mass shooting in Jacksonville in less than a year and the ninth mass shooting nationwide in the first 16 days of 2019, according to statistics obtained by the News4Jax I-TEAM. Those numbers also show that Jacksonville led Florida in mass shootings during 2018.
The Black Commission, a community activist group, said the gun violence among young African Americans is a crisis and the entire community is suffering from it. For Diallo-Seakout Seabrooks, CEO of The Black Commission, the issue is personal.
“My son was murdered in October. My son’s friend was murdered a week later," Seabrooks said. "We want [the public] to realize it is a crisis."
Bryon Robinson, president of The Better Dads Society, says parents are key to making a difference.
“I just think it starts at home," Robinson said. "If you hold your kid accountable at home the violence will cease."