Jacksonville’s deadly violence trending upward in 1st half of 2022 -- but not where you might think

File photo (WJXT)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville experienced a significant dip in its violent crime numbers last year, but hopes that the drop might be a chance to trend in the right direction are dwindling midway through 2022.

Checking in on the homicide data from the first six months of the year, News4JAX records show 79 homicides, of which 67 have been classified as murders so far. Some of the cases are still pending classification, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office homicide database.

(Editor’s Note: Our records differ somewhat from those the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office releases because we count deaths that occurred within the calendar year, and for investigative reasons, JSO sometimes excludes deaths within the calendar year and/or includes deaths outside the calendar year.)

During the same time period last year, the city had seen just 67 homicides (54 murders). If previous data holds true, this year’s numbers at the sixth-month mark put Jacksonville on trend for another year with homicides totaling well over 160 by the end of December.

Here’s the breakdown for the last five years (first 6 months):

  • 2022: 79 homicides, 67 murders
  • 2021: 67 homicides, 54 murders (ended with 130 homicides)
  • 2020: 89 homicides, 73 murders (ended with 176 homicides)
  • 2019: 81 homicides, 62 murders (ended with 164 homicides)
  • 2018: 63 homicides, 50 murders (ended with 131 homicides)

Not surprisingly, shootings continue to be the main cause of death for Jacksonville homicides with at least 91% of the homicides so far this year involving a firearm. (That number might be higher, but in some cases, the cause of death is not known or has not been released by authorities.)

News4JAX assignment editor Frank Powers and I have been collaborating on the homicide data recaps for several years, combing through the numbers on a fairly regular basis to try to give some context to the violent crime happening in Jacksonville.

At this point, not a lot surprises us. But one number did this time: FIVE.

That’s the number of homicides reported so far this year in ZIP code 32209. If you’ve followed any of our previous coverage about homicides in Jacksonville, you’ll know that 32209 -- which includes Grand Park and parts of Northwest Jacksonville -- is typically one of the more violent parts of town and often has one of the highest rates of homicides reported.

But not this time.

Looking through the data, in the first six months of 2022, five area ZIP codes reported more homicides than 32209. Another, 32218, which covers Oceanway and parts of the Northside, tied 32209 with five homicides.

Here’s the breakdown of where the homicides were reported most by ZIP code so far this year:

  • 32210: 10 (various Westside neighborhoods)
  • 32206: 8 (Brentwood, parts of Eastside)
  • 32208: 8 (Sherwood Forest, Lake Forest, parts of Northside)
  • 32216: 6 (Glynlea, Southpoint, parts of Southside)
  • 32244: 6 (Jacksonville Heights, parts of Westside)

The number of homicides in 32209 shows a significant drop from the same time last year, when the area reported nine homicides in the first six months of 2021.

Also noteworthy is the spike in homicides in ZIP code 32210. Through the first six months of last year, that area had reported just four homicides.

It’s unclear what’s causing the surge in 32210 and the lull in 32209, but earlier this year police and City Council member Garrett Dennis did address the uptick in crime along the 103rd Street corridor, of which a good portion is in 32210. Dennis attributed the violence to drugs.

Editor’s Note: Since the introduction of Marsy’s Law, News4JAX has relied on sources to provide some homicide-related information that would typically come from law enforcement, including the location of some crimes. The data we put forth in this article and the map below, including ages of victims and where crimes were reported, was compiled from those sources, law enforcement and our reporting in the field.

About the Author:

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.