JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – While countless families are celebrating Thanksgiving with their loved ones— others who’ve lost family members to homicide this year are feeling the loss especially hard on the holiday.
News4Jax records show there have been more than 160 homicides in Jacksonville in 2020. One of those was Carlos Antonio Jones in June.
Weeks after Carlos Jones was shot and killed in Jacksonville, his loved ones released balloons to heaven.
Five months later, they did it again as they marked their first holiday without him.
“I really wasn’t expecting him to leave me so soon. So, it hurts that he’s not here with us on Thanksgiving,” said Tonisha Jones, Carlos Jones’ daughter.
Police said Jones died after being shot several times at a University Boulevard apartment complex. Tonisha said she never imagined anything like this would happen to a man she described as a loving family man who worked hard and would help anyone.
“I actually can’t believe he died by gun violence,” Tonisha said. “I just kind of look at the whole thing and just really want the crime to stop. The hate. We have to learn how to forgive each other and get past these things.”
As police still search for answers in Carlos Jones’ case, his daughter thinks about the good times. From years past, to more recent.
“It feels different. It feels kind of empty, like something’s missing,” Tonisha said of celebrating the holiday without her father. “I just try not to think about it as much and just remember that he’s here with me in spirit and he’s living through me.”
Tonisha has a message for her father’s killer, or anyone who knows who that person is.
“Pay that price. I feel like they at least owe us that,” Tonisha said. “Y’all owe us closure. That’s all I really care about. I just want my father’s killer to be revealed.”
Carlos Jones left behind three children and two grandchildren. When the shooting happened, police said the gunman left in a car, but didn’t offer a description of it or of the suspect.
Anyone with information is asked to come forward and contact the Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500 or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.