Man killed overnight at Calloway Cove; 4th killed there this week

Jacksonville police haven’t released many details of latest homicide

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Police said a man in his early to mid-20s was shot and killed at the Calloway Cove Apartments about 11 p.m. Friday night -- that’s the same complex on Moncrief Road where the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office found three people shot and killed four days ago.

No witnesses have come forward in Friday night’s deadly shooting and police have not released many details.

News4Jax tried to talk to residents in the area about crime at the complex, and one said he doesn’t think policing is the right answer, but he’s nervous about the number of shootings at the apartments.

Another said more lighting is needed at the complex to see who’s coming and going.

After two men and a woman were found shot to death in a unit at the complex early Tuesday morning, police arrested four teens who officers chased after they sped away from the scene.

Police said the gang unit heard gunshots Tuesday then saw the car take off. The driver of the stolen vehicle -- a 14-year-old girl -- led authorities on a near three-mile chase that ended when an officer struck their car in a PIT maneuver. Inside the car were three guns, police said.

Keon Lester, 18, along with two 17-year-olds and a 14-year-old are all charged with murder and criminal conspiracy to commit robbery. The State Attorney’s Office is expected to prosecute all the suspects as adults.

Police referred to the apartment where two 30-year-olds and a 27-year-old were found dead as a “drug den” where they found more than 100 oxycodone pills, a large ball of a white powdery substance, and a large amount of money.

The area has wrestled with violent crime for years. Six years ago, City Council said 4229 Moncrief Road is one of the top locations in the city you were most likely to be a victim of a violent crime.

“It’s sad because right now, it’s just a no-win situation,” said one man who told News4Jax he’s not surprised at the violence. “Why not put a police substation right inside of there?”

The man said the ages of the people involved in these crimes has a lot to do with their influence.

“That comes from, in my opinion, the one home family, because everybody is a follower now,” the man said.

News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson, who grew up in the Calloway Cove Apartments, said crimes like these have been there and will stay there unless city leaders speak up.

“There’s crime all over Duval County, but in this particular area, it seems to resonate over the years,” Jefferson said. “Over 30 years it’s been plagued with violence. So until city leaders get with the Sheriff’s Office, get with the community and everybody gets involved it’s going to continue.”

Jefferson said the ages don’t surprise him because he said crime doesn’t discriminate, but more can be done to eliminate the problem in the apartments.

“Four people dead -- what is there to figure out? You found drugs, you found a whole lot of money, you found weapons in a car that fled from the scene. What is there to figure out? It’s nothing to figure out other than let’s go to work,” Jefferson said.

News4Jax reached out to the City Council member who represents Calloway Cove’s district, as well as the owner of the complex. We have not heard back from them yet.

All five homicides in Jacksonville this week have been in the 32209 ZIP code: the four at Calloway Cove and one on Iris Boulevard, only three blocks away.

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