JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Parents are fed up with violence in the community after a 17-year-old student was shot outside Andrew Jackson High School on Wednesday.
It happened as kids were heading home. At this time, no arrests have been made in the shooting.
Cure Violence, an organization that was established to prevent violence in Jacksonville, rallied outside the school Friday afternoon.
Around 25 to 30 people showed up, holding signs with anti-violence messages.
“We are taking a stand against gun violence, against killings, against shootings amongst our children, amongst our neighborhoods, amongst our communities,” said Bernadia Samuels, an activist. “We are here because we are tired, we are fed up and we’re standing for change.”
Cure Violence director Jacqueline Collier said it’s important that more people get involved in working to prevent violent crimes than just the people who are victimized or directly affected by it.
“We want the community to know we need you. You live out here just like we do. It’s not just a few people that are doing this,” Collier said. “So you can’t have just a few people from the community out here letting everyone know that we’re tired of it.”
Since Wednesday’s shooting, there’s been more security at the school. That includes a bigger police presence and students having their bags checked.
It will be like this for the foreseeable future, the principal has said.
A neighbor, who does not want to be identified, told News4JAX he heard the gunshots during the drive-by.
“I observed the children running in fear,” the woman said. “It was chaotic. The parents were in fear and afraid. It was sad. When you see it and you hear it. It hits the heart of a mother. A mother who has lost their child to a crime.”
Detectives are searching for a light-colored SUV that was involved in the drive-by shooting outside the school. Police say someone shot the teen as he was walking on the sidewalk.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said the 17-year-old is expected to be OK.
Anyone with information on this shooting should contact JSO at 904-630-0500 or First Coast Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.