JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - A news report posted on jacksonville.com states that a teen boy was arrested and is currently in jail facing second-degree murder charges.  The teenaged suspect is accused of fatally shooting another teen at a Jacksonville area park, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office stated.  The crime scene is currently marked with a First Coast Crime Stoppers sign.  The sign has been posted in front of Woodstock Park, where a teenaged boy was fatally shot on June 8, 2021. 

According to the news report, the June 8, 2021, fatal shooting of a 16-year-old boy happened after a fight began.  The altercation that happened at Woodstock Park is the eighth homicide in 2021 this year in that 32254 ZIP Code.  The unnamed victim was the fourth murder victim under the age of 18 this year in Jacksonville, Florda. 

The suspect's arrest occurs only one month after the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office charged a 14-year-old boy as an adult for allegedly killing a 13-year-old schoolmate in a knife attack in Saint Johns back on May 9, 2021. The Saint Johns Medical Examiner's report confirmed that the victim sustained 114 stab wounds.

According to Terri Florio, the MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation Executive Director, there is no clear answer as to why it appears more teens are killing fellow teens both locally and nationwide.  Her organization works with Jacksonville's urban core youth.  She stated that the high rate of poverty, crime, teen pregnancy, and high school dropouts might be part of the reason.  However, she called the killings "incredibly, incredibly disturbing and sad."  She also stated that it is a "very difficult situation, a mental health situation certainly."  She believes that the question should be not what's wrong with the teens but rather what happened to the teens?  She also wonders what is wrong in the community and in the United States overall that is causing children to act this way and to believe that violence is okay.

According to Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams, teen-on-teen violence is a serious and complicated problem.  Sheriff  Williams also believes that city officials must take a long and hard look at what community programs are being offered to kids and if the children are using the programs

The city of Jacksonville has had a steady increase in the number of murders in the city.  In 2019, there were 160 homicides and 178 in 2020.  A majority of the murders are gun-related incidents, according to the Times-Union.  In 2021, there have been 59 murders so far compared to 79 in 2021 during the same time period.

Those with helpful information concerning any shootings are asked to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office or First Coast Crime Stoppers to provide tips anonymously and to receive rewards. 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), murder is the third-leading cause of death for teens between the ages of 15 to 19.  The CDC states that about 13 young people are murder every single day.  Another 1,100 teen victims are treated in emergency departments every day for "assault-related injuries."  The CDC also stated that the suicide and homicide death rates for teenagers 15 to 19 and young adults ages 20 to 24 increased from 2000 to 2017. 

At Musca Law, we endeavor to keep our clients apprised of any and all developments as their case progresses, in order to ensure that they get ongoing legal counsel and direction at every step of their legal journey. We are here to help you achieve the best outcome to a bad situation that we possibly can. Please call our Jacksonville office today to schedule a free, no-obligation, and confidential consultation with one of our experienced Jacksonville Criminal Attorneys to determine how our legal services could most benefit you.

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