Jacksonville family, friends plead for help to solve teen's murder

Damantrae Franklin, 15, was shot to death off Labelle Street in 2014

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Nearly five years after 15-year-old Damantrae Franklin was shot to death, his murder remains unsolved, but his family, police and anti-crime groups want to change that.

Franklin was shot several times in his back and died from his wounds around 10:15 p.m. Oct. 27, 2014, near the former Eureka Garden Apartments, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

His family is still waiting for justice.

On Saturday, loved ones, homicide detective working the case and the anti-crime group Mad Dads gathered in the area where he was killed to urge people to provide tips that could possibly lead to an arrest.

Prayers were said, candles were lit and Franklin's family and others knocked on doors in the area urging anyone with information on who killed him to come forward.

"I am here for the justice of my grandson Damantrae Franklin," Gwendolyn Robinson said. "You might run, but you will not get away. It has not been forgotten, justice will prevail."     


Franklin's family was joined by Mad Dads as they went door to door Saturday searching for any leads in the murder of the 15-year-old.

"Gun violence is hurting our city, our families, our children," said Mad Dads coordinator A.J. Jordan. "We have to turn in the people committing these crimes."

Jordan said the code of silence must be broken in order for justice to prevail.

That sentiment was echoed by Franklin's grandmother as she knocked on doors. 

"Tell people what is going on in the neighborhoods. Your children need to grow up here and if you want them to grow up, speak up," Robinson said.

The former Eureka Gardens housing community where Franklin was killed is known to be prone to violence.

Several other teenagers have also been killed in that area of Jacksonville over the years.


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