JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – According to News4Jax records, 306 people have been shot in Jacksonville so far this year.
That averages out to more than one person shot each day.
There were four separate shootings over Saturday and early Sunday morning that injured six people, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
“Our city has a veil of violence over it and it’s hovering over Jacksonville,” said News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson.
Jefferson said police need people to speak up to find those responsible for the recent shootings.
Two men were shot early Sunday morning while sitting in a car on Prospect Street. Police said they showed up to the hospital on their own with non-life-threatening injuries.
That followed a chaotic scene Saturday night at the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown where two people were shot inside a bathroom at Morton’s Steakhouse.
Dozens of people ran for cover including Bret Wilson who was outside taking a walk at the time of the shooting.
“I just heard three pops and then they came running out the door,” he said. “It was just like a stampede.”
Hotel management asked all guests to lock themselves inside their rooms until police secured the scene. That lockdown lasted for two hours, according to a couple who rented a room.
“It kind of woke me up because you never know,” Wilson said. “You could be walking and never know who’s holding a gun.”
Earlier Saturday afternoon, two teenagers were shot in a drive-by shooting on East Third and Franklin Streets. Neither was seriously hurt.
On Friday night, an argument turned deadly on Rhode Island Drive. One man was shot and killed in a house’s front yard. Two others were shot and treated at the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
Jefferson says curbing the violence must be a joint effort.
“Everybody has to work together,” he said. “It’s not just the agency of JSO to work by themselves to try to solve these things. It’s about relationships. It’s about building relationships with corporations, businesses, churches and every day, average people.”
According to News4Jax records, there have been fewer shootings this year than at this point in 2020.