Jacksonville, Fl - The 14-year-old who was shot in Grand Park on the northwest side on Friday, has died.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is calling James Thomas' death an active murder investigation. The teenager was shot in the parking lot while he was taking a break from swimming.
On Friday afternoon, police said they were looking for a light-blue car in connection with the shooting.
It happened around 2 p.m. Friday in the parking lot of the Johnnie Walker Community Center on West 20th Street, near Division Street.
Sgt. Dan Janson said the teen had been using the community pool and was on a break, eating in the parking lot.
“My understanding is that a vehicle entered into the parking lot of the park, some gunfire erupted and the individual was shot,” said Sgt. Janson, with the JSO Homicide Unit. “I can’t say right now whether he was a targeted individual or if he was just a random victim."
Investigators spent hours in the community center parking lot Friday collecting evidence. Janson said they believe there were multiple people involved in the shooting. No arrests had been announced.
“This should not have happened,” Grand Park community president Lloyd Washington told our partner Action News at the scene. He said just last week he held a meeting at the community center to address recent violence among youths.
“There are a lot of rumors that are flying,” said Janson. “Some were saying it was retaliation from another shooting, so nothing is verified at this point.”
Washington said JSO had stepped up patrols at the community center following the community meeting, but he understands officers can’t be there 24-7. Now he said community leaders will need to find new solutions to stop the violence.
“Obviously we’re going to have to go back to the drawing board,” Washington said.