JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville organization says more needs to be done following a string of violence over Halloween weekend.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, six people were shot over the weekend, two of whom died.
That includes a 17-year-old who was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting on Jacksonville’s Eastside early Sunday morning. Family members identified the person killed as Jocori Jones.
Another teenager injured in the shooting was expected to survive.
Bishop Mark McGuire is an executive director of Cure Violence -- an organization that targets hot spots or areas where violence has been prominent for years. The group wants to make sure the shooting doesn’t spark more violence.
“Violence is an epidemic and we treat it as an epidemic,” McGuire said.
Members of the program, called mediators, go into the high-risk areas, helping children and teenagers understand that violence is not acceptable, and never the answer.
Many of the mediators, McGuire explained, live in the same neighborhoods or are from similar backgrounds.
“Relevant individuals who have had that moral shift, who have realized that pulling the trigger is not the way to resolve conflict and there are other ways to mediate and de-escalate,” McGuire said.
He said the group also wants people to know after crimes are committed that retaliation is never an option.
“It’s permanent. It’s not a PlayStation or an Xbox game where you can hit the reset button and try again,” McGuire said. “You don’t get other lives that you can earn by winning battles. It’s one life.”
Anyone with information that can help police in the weekend drive-by shooting should contact Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida.