More women murdered in 2018 than the year before, JSO stats show

Sheriff says crime is down overall; domestic violence still an issue

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville's murder total remained fairly steady from 2017 to 2018, with one important difference in the statistics: more women were killed last year.

The shift has some, like Rozella Brooks-White, calling for action.

Brooks-White's daughter, Sahara Barkley, was the first of at least 20 female victims to be gunned down in Jacksonville in 2018. Another half-dozen were killed in stabbing or beating incidents, according to News4Jax records.

Tairrah McGriff has been charged with Barkley's murder, and Shawntez Edmondson, 23, is charged with stealing Barkley's car.

JUMP TO: Infographic breakdown of JSO murder statistics

Barkley's mother has been on a campaign since her daughter's murder to bring about change in Jacksonville when it comes to crime.

“It's violent, so we need to stop. We need to get out and get more active in the community,” Brooks-White said.

But Sheriff Mike Williams and other city leaders are quick to point out that crime in Jacksonville is down overall.

Despite that fact, the trend of more women and girls falling victim to murder is alarming for many.

In 2017, 80.7 percent of the murder victims in Jacksonville were male and 19.3 percent were female. But last year, that stat shifted and 23.6 percent of those murdered in Jacksonville were female.

According to News4Jax records, 15 of the women killed were considered non-domestic violence murders, meaning they were not killed by a significant other, an ex or a family member.

Citywide, non-domestic shootings are down, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said. In 2017, 383 men and women were shot. Last year, that dropped by 10 percent to 344, JSO said.

But domestic violence remains a major problem, particularly for female victims. Eleven women and a girl were killed in domestic violence situations last year: six of them were shot, four were stabbed and two were beaten to death, including a 5-year-old girl, who police said died at the hands of her mother's boyfriend.

Gail Patin, the CEO of Hubbard House, which helps victims of domestic violence, said women are in the most danger during a breakup.

“That is the most lethal time for survivors -- right after they leave or left an abusive relationship -- for death,” Patin said.

Hubbard House and other resources for domestic violence victims are available throughout Northeast Florida:

The JSO statistics also showed that 28.2 percent of murder victims in 2018 were between the ages of 18 and 24. Another 8.2 percent were 17 years old or younger.

The statistics reflected a significant racial disparity: 74 percent of murder victims were black, 24 percent were white and 2 percent were Asian.

Breakdown of Jacksonville murders

Statistics provided by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. All 2018 numbers are "projections" because more deaths could be added.

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