Neighbors worry about Westside crime

8 unsolved homicides since June 14

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - With her dog by her side, Devon Schindler told News4Jax Monday night that she is nervous walking around her Westside neighborhood.

"It's actually kind of scary because I'm going to start being out on my own a lot more lately and to think that that's going on," said Schindler.

Schindler was talking about the amount of violence in her area. In the last 15 days, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has responded to eight homicides. All of those homicides have remained unsolved.

JSO announced Monday evening that 55-year-old Joseph Ross died after being found shot at a bus stop on Lane Avenue on Monday morning. Police also said Teodro Rico was shot and killed during a home invasion in Normandy early on Monday.

Sunday, two women, now identified as Judith Henry and her daughter Denise Rickman, were murdered on Shady Pine Street South. Saturday, Thomas Trent was killed on 103rd Street, and the crimes date back to the middle of June.

On Father's Day, 15-year-old Bryan Layfield was shot and killed on East Melvin Circle, and the day before that David Barwick was killed in a shooting on Wilson Boulevard. Stephen Small was found dead on Metto Road on June 20; the 32-year-old's death was also ruled a homicide.

"I think everybody needs to step up and look out for one another," said neighbor Linda Heinz. "It needs to stop; it really does."

Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford started Operation Ceasefire to help crack down on crime in Northwest Jacksonville. He's deploying more officers and said the operation is proving to be successful.

With so many people killed in acts of violence since, many people who live on the Westside of Jacksonville wonder what Rutherford can do to help their neighborhood.

"I just don't feel very safe anywhere in Jacksonville anymore," said Schindler. "I really don't."

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