Neighbors worry as 71-year-old's killer at large

Johnnie Holland stabbed at least 10 times in home, police say

By Ashley Harding - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It's been two days since a 71-year-old man was brutally killed in his own home, and the search for a killer continues.

Meanwhile, neighbors on Acorn Street in the tight-knit New Town community are angry and on edge after the stabbing death of Johnnie Holland.

"God be with him, that's all I can say," said Charles Jackson, a friend of Holland's. "God help his soul. Why, I don't know why he did that or nothing, who did it. God's watching. God knows who he is."

"If this guy is still on the loose, then we got a problem around here," a neighbor named Charles said. "You know what I'm saying? It's a problem for everybody."

Police said Holland was stabbed at least 10 times Wednesday morning and later died at a hospital.

His neighbors describe him as quiet -- the type of man who would sit on his porch and was always friendly.

Another thing that makes neighbors so nervous is the fact that the brutal crime happened just a few blocks from a school.

Authorities say they've spoken with a witness, but so far no arrests have been made and more information is needed.

Channel 4 crime and safety analyst Ken Jefferson said those who know something need to come forward.

"This is somebody's relative who was brutally murdered," he said. "It's always good to know -- if you live in a neighborhood where something like this happens -- it's good to know the motive. It's good to know who so you can get rid of them, get them out of your neighborhood so you can go back to being productive citizens."

For some of the neighbors, it's the first time they've ever felt unsafe. They say the sooner the killer is caught, the better.

"We're all concerned. This is a problem for everybody," Charles said. "Like I say, I've been here for 20-something years and this has never happened around here. We have a little random shooting here and there, but nothing else."

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