Six years later, drive-by killings of two teenage girls remains unsolved

Megan Simmons, 14, and Jazmine Shelton, 13, died when gunmen shot up home

By Maggie Lorenz - Multi-media journalist, Roxy Tyler - Web producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Six years after two teenage girls were killed in a drive-by shooting on the northwest side of Jacksonville, there are still no suspects or arrests in the case, and the families want answers.

Megan Simmons, 14, was spending the night at the home of Jazmine Shelton, 13, on Missouri Avenue when someone opened fire on the house. Saturday marks exactly six years since Shelton died of a gunshot wound as she slept. Simmons was put on life support until she died four days later. 

Since then, the case has gone cold. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office suspended the case in 2017 until police could get new information, which they haven't. 

Simmon's grandmother, Karen Simmons, said it's a struggle to get justice for these two young girls and not a day goes by that she doesn't think about her granddaughter and the tragedy that claimed her life six years ago.

"It's like a piece of my life and my daughter's life was just ripped out from under us. You know, when we got that call from Jazmine's mother that Megan had been shot, my life hasn't been the same since (and) probably never will be," Karen Simmons said.

Megan Simmons lived with her grandmother for a time and said the two of them did almost everything together. She describes her granddaughter as a light to everyone. 

"She was the greatest thing to me. She wanted to sing and she had a good voice. She wanted to be on 'American Idol,' and she wanted to go out and sing. She enjoyed people and she had a lot of friends," Simmons said.

Six years after the drive-by shooting killed the two young girls, the case remains unsolved. 

Karen Simmons says she talked a couple of months ago to the detective who originally handled the case but says he no longer works in the homicide division and had no updates. 

"I pray every day that some way we can find out who did it and put them where they need to be," Simmons said. "I just want some peace, some closure."

Simmons and Shelton were killed the weekend before school started when they would have started the eighth and sixth grades. 

The home on Missouri Avenue where the shooting happened has been demolished and Megan Simmon's mother has moved out of Jacksonville.
Karen Simmons says she thinks the police know who did it but don't have enough evidence to bring charges. 

If you know anything about the drive-by killings, please call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS (8477).

Copyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.