JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The family of a Jacksonville man shot and killed last month gathered Saturday morning with anti-crime activists in the Hyde Park neighborhood where the murder happened.
MAD DADS organized a walk to canvas the area in hopes of getting answers to who killed 22-year-old Anthony Roundtree. He was shot and killed July 9 inside an SUV near the intersection of Jammes Road and David Drive. A second person shot that day survived.
“It was a Thursday, I believe, and we just got word there was a shooting down the road from my mother’s house and Anthony was involved,” said Latrice Roundtree, Anthony’s aunt, who said her sister hasn’t been the same since. “I miss my sister’s happiness. Her boys were her world. This has torn her apart and that’s why we’re demanding justice.”
She remembered her nephew as a bright light.
“If he stepped into a room and if we were having a day like now, his smile and that laugh would overtake you and turn rain into sunshine,” Latrice Roundtree said. “Losing a loved one takes part of your heart. It’s heartbreaking, not just for my family, but for families all around the city. I think there should be more police in the areas.”
According to News4Jax records, the city of Jacksonville has had 118 homicides so far this year and is on track to have more in 2020 than any year in at least the past 15 years.
“So we’re just asking the neighbors and those in the neighborhood if you know something, say something,” Latrice Roundtree said.
Donald Foy, MAD DADS Jacksonville president, leads walks like this looking to help find clues to unsolved murders throughout the city.
“Resources need to be going into the community, into organizations that are going knocking on the doors to ask for us to break the code of silence, for us to remove the murders and shooters from our community,” Foy said.
Earlier this week, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry announced he is expanding Cure Violence, a program that targets troubled neighborhoods trying to preempt violence. The mayor said he will add $1.7 million to the program’s budget so it can expand into a third neighborhood.