State attorney gives Arlington shooting survivor new hope

State Attorney Melissa Nelson reviewing case of Jimmy Smith, who was shot in Arlington more than 30 years ago

A man who was shot in Arlington and left for dead more than 30 years ago has new hope in finding those responsible.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man who was shot in Arlington and left for dead more than 30 years ago has new hope in finding those responsible.

Jimmy Smith spoke last month at a city of Jacksonville event during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. But Smith learned something else that day: the state attorney wants to look at his case.

While arriving home at his Arlington apartment about 32 years ago, Smith’s life changed forever. He was robbed, attacked and shot. He is now paralyzed.

No one was been caught and charged with the crime.

Since the attack, Smith has made major changes in his life. Now with the city’s Disabled Services Division, he offers help, hope and inspiration to others.

Smith said that after he shared his story during last month’s event, he said State Attorney Melissa Nelson gave him new hope.

There is not much information about the attack that night. The gunmen were masked, there were vague descriptions, and Smith’s car was stolen and later found burned. There were no fingerprints or clues left.

“Even though I forgive the people who did this, I would still like to see justice served because it was a senseless act of violence that altered my life forever,” Smith said.

Smith said this gives him hope, and even though it’s a cold case, he believes there is a chance it could be solved.

“Hopefully, we can bring someone to justice,” Smith said. “With technology today, I think they can find something. It’s probably a longshot, but I’m grateful they’re going to give it a try.”

A spokesperson for the state attorney’s office confirmed that Nelson did agree to look again at the case. The spokesperson said that they are ordering the files from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and that they are also hopefully new information can be learned.


About the Author:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.