Local father wants to stop shootings in Arlington: ‘If we have to call in the Marines, fine’

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A local father is speaking out after his son was shot dead in one neighborhood that has been plagued with recent gunfire.

“If we have to call in the Marines, fine,” says the victim’s father who doesn’t want to be identified for fear of retaliation. “I’ll volunteer to go back on active duty and help them (JSO).”

Tony Wilson, 38, was found at Oaks Plantation Drive on Saturday morning and later died after being taken off life support.

READ: Father of 6 dies after being shot on Oaks Plantation Drive

Wilson’s father believes this shooting was in retaliation for another fatal shooting at an Arlington gas station in July. He says the alleged suspects were after Tony’s cousin on Saturday but got him instead.

Action News Jax records show there have been at least seven shootings in Arlington in the past nine days, leaving four people dead.

City Council Vice President Sam Newby says his son was coaching at the recent youth football tournament in Arlington where a father was shot and killed while the victim’s 7-year-old son was injured.

Newby says the problem in Arlington and Jacksonville is economic opportunity and he has a plan with what he is calling “Operation Boost.”

“It will give citizens opportunity to get better jobs,” says Newby.

Since Mayor Lenny Curry and Sheriff Mike Williams were elected in 2015, murders have risen by more than 20 percent in Jacksonville, according to FDLE, despite the city pouring more money into policing the problem.

Action News Jax Ben Becker reached out to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the mayor’s office to find out what else is being done to fight crime. The sheriff’s office declined to comment and the mayor’s office did not respond.

Wilson’s family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses. Click here for that information.

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