11 homicides, 17 days: MAD DADS president saddened, ‘but I’m not surprised’

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Less than three weeks into 2023, Duval County has recorded 11 reported homicides, by News4JAX count.

Donald Foy, the president of MAD DADS — a nonprofit group focused on fighting crime — says it’s a concerning statistic. Within three days, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has reported at least five deaths due to gun violence and two others who were hurt.

“I’m saddened, first of all, but I’m not surprised,” Foy said.

On Monday, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said, a dispute led to two people being shot in the Sherwood Forest neighborhood. One person died, while another was hospitalized.

Early Sunday, two men and a woman, who police believe were shot, were found dead inside of a home on Bridges Road near Dunn Avenue. An 18-year-old has been arrested and charged with three counts of second-degree murder.

Also on Sunday, police said, a woman died and another was hospitalized after they were shot while traveling along I-95.

Notably, there was a shooting reported Tuesday evening in Northwest Jacksonville, but investigators determined a man was grazed by a bullet after they were called to Norfolk Boulevard. He did not require a hospitalization.

Foy is concerned that violence in the city isn’t being curbed.

“Jacksonville is letting it go on, he said. “So it’s going and getting out of hand. It got out of hand 20 years ago. We haven’t been able to get a grip on it.”

Through the pain of loss, families have held marches and rallies calling for justice — alongside members of MAD DADS.

Law enforcement has vowed to crack down on violent crime.

But a solution, Foy says, remains the same.

“The only answer and the remedy to it, as I’ve stated before and before again, is that the community gets more involved to turn these individuals in so we can remove them from the streets of Jacksonville,” he said.

Anyone with information in the recent string of violence is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500 or submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida.

About the Author:

Renee Beninate is a Florida native and award-winning reporter who joined the News4Jax team in June 2021.