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Jacksonville's New Town will 'work to try to improve' after shooting

11:41 PM, Dec 12, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla -- A shooting in the middle of the street in a New Town neighborhood sent five people to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon.

Police say the shooting happened at the 900 block of Windle Street. There was no comment on whether the injuries were life threatening, or what prompted the shooting, but residents say it's nothing new for this part of town.

"I have my grand kids close when I heard the gunshots I told my grand kids to come in the house," says Charlotte Bowman, a local resident. "I'm used to it [gun shots] late at night, but not during the day."

The New Town neighborhood is one that has been under a bit of revitalization. HabiJax is one of the community organizations working to improve life for residents by building new homes in the area. New Town is part of Jacksonville City Councilman Warren Jones' district.

"I know the goal is put 100 new homes in the neighborhood in the next five years. HabiJax has gotten several grants, the Weavers and the Hicks have just contributed $1 million last month," says Jacksonville City Councilman Warren Jones.

New Town Success Zone reports that crime has dropped 40 percent since 2010 and residents say they've noticed a lot more presence from JSO.

"I think the police officers kind of know who it is because from time to time, they will ride through during the day and clear the area out. It's just you know, it's that type of neighborhood and it's kind of hard to police in that area," says Kenneth Seabrook, a local resident.

Councilman Jones said patrols have increased and about 15 new homes have been built this year, but there is still a lot of work to do when it comes to getting rid of the crime.  

"It does set the community back. But the community is very resilient and we are going to continue to work to try to improve the quality for life for the citizens of this neighborhood," says Jones.

According to New Town Success Zone, violent crimes, truancy, and arrests have decreased by 45 percent since 2008. Property crimes have gone down 20 percent.

First Coast News

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