Brothers killed less than 100 days apart in Jacksonville

‘It’s horrible. It’s heartbreaking,’ says a family friend of Jamarion and Jelijah Barnes, both of whom died this year

Jamarion Barnes, 21, and his 20-year-old brother, Jelijah Barnes, both died this year, according to loved ones.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A family is mourning the losses of two brothers killed less than 100 days apart in Jacksonville.

Jamarion Barnes, 21, and his 20-year-old brother, Jelijah Barnes, both died this year, according to loved ones.

On June 20, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, a man, identified as Jamarion Barnes, and a 20-year-old woman, identified as Tyniya Powell, were shot to death in a car in the Southpoint area. Police said they were found in a parking lot on Bowden Road near Interstate 95.

Earlier this year, the family lost Jamarion Barnes’ younger brother to gun violence. Loved ones were already grieving Jelijah Barnes’s death when Jamarion Barnes was killed.

On March 13, according to police, a man, identified as Jelijah Barnes, died after being shot multiple times while getting out of a vehicle near a home on Beekman Lake Drive in a neighborhood in the Chimney Lakes area.

News4JAX on Wednesday spoke with family friend LaTonya Nelson.

“I was just so torn up by that and the fact that his parents have lost both of their sons,” Nelson said. “I don’t think any parent could imagine not just losing one child — but two — in such a short time frame. It’s horrible. It’s heartbreaking.”

Nelson was more like an aunt to the brothers.

“They’re family, they’re my nephews,” she said.

She said the brothers were close.

“You would most of the time see them together,” Nelson said. “People sometimes would think they were twins because they were so close in age, but they were very very close.”

Jamarion Barnes leaves behind a 9-month-old.

“The last time, unfortunately, I was able to give him (Jamarion Barnes) a hug was at Jelijah’s funeral,” Nelson said. “It still hurts knowing that they’re gone.”

No arrests have been announced in either case.

“In both cases, I hope that somebody speaks up or they do find somebody and hold them responsible,” Nelson said.

Nelson said the brothers’ mother deserves closure after losing both of her sons.

There isn’t any information indicating that the murders of the Barnes brothers are connected. Anyone with information about either case is asked to call JSO at 904-630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477).

According to our News4JAX records, murders in Jacksonville this year are up 22% from last year. As of June 2021, there had been 67 murders so far last year. So far this year, there have been 78 murders.

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