JSO : Shooting outside Terry Parker stadium may be gang-related
16-year-old was targeted by group as he walked across parking lot, JSO says
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Friday night's shooting of a 16-year-old Raines High School student outside Terry Parker High School's spring football game was not random, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said Saturday.
"The victim was walking in the parking lot when (he was) approached by several black males. Shortly after being approached, witnesses heard one gunshot," said T.K. Waters, chief of investigations for JSO. "The victim began walking to the ticket booth where he collapsed."
Waters stressed that the shooting was not a random act.
"Preliminary investigation indicates the victim was targeted by the suspect. Investigators have strong suspects. The possibility of gang involvement does exist. (We are) currently looking to talk with persons of interest in this case," Waters said.
A local mother shared her story about how her son was killed at a football game nearly 30 years ago, and hearing about what happened at Terry Parker High School brought back so much pain.
Gwenda Green said she holds one of the most precious memories of her son close to her heart.
"Sometimes, I sleep with this picture," she said. "I can't go to a football game."
Green's son was shot and killed at a high school football game in Virginia in 1989.
Seeing the scene of Friday's shooting sent Green into tears.
"I could only imagine how this mom is feeling because I live and breathed my son 24 hours a day," Green said. "It's not a day, not a second I don't talk about my son."
Green said there was good news to come out of her son's murder in that his organs were donated to allow him to live through other people.
Green said she sends flowers to her son's grave weekly.
"I just hope and pray that another parent doesn't have to sit here during football season and speak to the news again," Green said.
Neighbors are concerned and hoping the police catch the shooters.
"I'm sorry for the kid that got shot, and I'm not sorry for the ones that got away and I just hope that the police stay on top of this crime," said Patricia Loughman, who lives near the school.
The teenager who was shot is in critical but stable condition at the University of Florida Health. His name has not been released. No one else was hurt.
When asked about surveillance cameras, Waters said JSO investigators said they are working on information with the Duval County Public School Police. Waters also said the school board police had six officers working security at the game.
JSO is asking anyone with information about the shooting to call 904-630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477).
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