Councilwoman: Arlington community ‘outraged’ over crime

Arlington has seen almost 3x as many murders as in 2019

Arlington was the center of a community discussion on crime Monday night, following a rash of recent shootings. Councilwoman Joyce Morgan formed a Town Hall that involved neighbors, Sheriff Mike Williams, and JSO Chief Lakeisha Burton.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – City Councilwoman Joyce Morgan held a community town hall Monday night to get the public’s input on violence in Arlington. The meeting was virtual and community members could participate.

The announcement of the meeting came just hours after the family of a man shot in over the weekend told News4Jax he had died. Tony Wilson, 38, marked the 19th homicide for Arlington this year.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said police responded with firefighters just before 10 a.m. Saturday to Oaks Plantation Drive, just south of the Arlington Expressway, and found a man with at least one gunshot wound. Police said the man, whose family identified as Wilson, was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. The family said Wilson was taken off life-support Saturday night.

Police said they have no suspect information. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help with funeral expenses.

Saturday’s shooting continues a string of violence in Arlington within the last week.

Arlington has seen almost 3x as many murders as in 2019

Sheriff Mike Williams and Chief Lakesha Burton say there are 150 officers that work out of the substation that responds to calls to service in Arlington every day.

Arlington residents who logged on to the Zoom meeting spoke about the recent crime. Morgan listened to their concerns.

“This community, as you know, Arlington, is really in mourning,” Morgan said. “We’re also outraged. I believe a lot of us are very angry about the senseless shootings in our district.”

Some residents who spoke say they are victims of crimes that were committed by repeat juvenile offenders.

“I was recently involved in a situation a little over a month ago where some juveniles in the neighborhood were carrying illegal guns, actually one of the juveniles pulled them out and pointed the gun at us," said Robert Kisfalusi, a resident.

“One of the things that the entire Arlington community talks about is the lack of action," said Steve Murray, a resident.

Williams says JSO is getting federal assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration, which is partnering with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to help clean up the streets.

“Still today, the majority of what we see in different pockets from around the city really has its roots in the drug trade, in narcotics," Williams said. “About 70 percent of the crime in our city has its roots in that.”

Williams said participating in the Sheriff’s Watch is a great way for communities to engage with the Sheriff’s Office. He said its 9 p.m. Routine is key to reminding people to lock up and remove their firearms from their vehicles, saying many guns used in shootings are stolen.

About the Authors:

Corley Peel is a Texas native and Texas Tech graduate who covered big stories in Joplin, Missouri, Tulsa, Oklahoma and Jacksonville, Florida before returning to the Lone Star State. When not reporting, Corley enjoys hot yoga, Tech Football, and finding the best tacos in town.

Zachery “Zach” Lashway anchors KPRC 2+ Now. He began at KPRC 2 as a reporter in October 2021.