JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Ten individuals — seven people between the ages of 15 and 17, and three adults — were arrested after an investigation into a shooting at James Weldon Johnson Park in Downtown Jacksonville, Sheriff T.K. Waters announced Tuesday.
The details released were part of a long-term investigation that started on Dec. 4, 2022, after a shooting near City Hall.
News4JAX first reported about the shooting on Dec. 6 when a bullet struck the window of the mayor’s office on the fourth floor of City Hall. Shell casings were also found at James Weldon Johnson Park.
According to JSO, 17 guns were seized — four of which were used in the December shooting — from the investigation.
“While this investigation began with the shooting near City Hall, it grew into something far-reaching, weaving together multiple shootings by rival groups across the city,” Waters said.
Waters said it was not an attack on City Hall.
“This was a shootout between two groups and all the group-affiliated young men who are arrested during this investigation are within the age range of 15 to 17,” Waters said.
The investigation resulted in the arrests of 10 individuals for a variety of felonies. The three adults were identified as Demetrice Jackson, 18, Tony Brown, 19, and Keith Rowe, 28.
JSO released a surveillance video showing two groups of individuals shootings at each other near James Weldon Johnson Park on Dec. 4, 2022. The video shows five people running east down Laura Street, toward West Monroe. One teen, wearing a white T-shirt, drops a gun, goes back to pick it up, and then shoots the gun again.
Waters said the young men are not documented gang members, they are affiliates of rival groups. The two opposing sets of juveniles who were involved in the shooting at the park were also terrorizing a Sherwood neighborhood with gun violence, Waters said.
“Citizens and residents of that neighborhood were living in fear daily,” Waters said.
Waters said the investigation’s successful outcomes were the result of both excellent police work and public partnership.
“Neighborhood citizens who are tired of their community being ravaged by violence at the hands of these individuals provided detectives with critical information to help both identify and eventually arrest these individuals,” Waters said. “I’ve spoken repeatedly about the significance of the public and the police partnership. This investigation exemplifies how essential this relationship is to successful policing.”
Further details of the investigation were not released because there’s an active criminal case pending.