The Youngerman Circle and Blanding Boulevard area has seen shootings and drug problems over the years
JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – A woman died Wednesday after being found shot multiple times in an area of Jacksonville near the Clay County line that has seen gun violence, drug problems, homelessness and begging over the years .
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, police were called just before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to Youngerman Circle near Blanding Boulevard and found the woman in the parking lot of the Baymont by Wyndham. The woman, police said, was taken to hospital, where she died of her injuries.
It’s one of the most congested corridors in northeast Florida, filled with hotels and begging.
If you talk to locals like Jimmie Woods, who moved here only a few months ago, and shops in the area, they say you see problems.
“That’s what I’ve noticed since I’ve been here: homelessness,” Woods said. “That’s one thing that shocked me because it’s not downtown.”
Many of the incidents that made headlines happened in and around hotels. Before Wednesday night’s deadly shooting, there was a fatal shooting last September at the Red Roof Inn on Youngerman Circle. In April 2021, there was an extensive drug sweep, with many arrests in this area the month before police shot and killed a man at the nearby Quality Inn on Youngerman Circle.
“I think it’s drugs. I don’t think there are bad people, just drug addicts who make bad choices, are selfish and take care of themselves,” said Christine Gearhart, who lives in the area. “I’ve been to hotels to spend the night and you can see it like daylight.”
Jacksonville City Council member Randy DeFoor, who represents that area, sent News4JAX this statement in which she hammers another hotel, the Red Roof Inn:
“The recent shooting is unfortunately a symptom of ongoing criminal issues with hotels in this area. For one hotel in particular, the JSO has been called over 400 times in the past year. The cost in human capital and for the taxpayers is considerable – we have asked the Public Nuisance Abatement Board to look into this issue.Hotel owners know what is happening and most are held responsible.
News4JAX contacted the Red Roof Inn, which sent the following statement:
“This franchise property, like all of our properties, has zero tolerance for illegal activity. The safety and security of our customers is paramount to us. We are aware of the issues in this area and the franchisee is cooperating fully with local law enforcement and will continue to do so. We have and will continue to work with the franchisee to ensure the safety and security of our customers. »
News4JAX has also reached out to the two candidates in the running to become Jacksonville’s next sheriff.
Lakesha Burton’s campaign told News4JAX it didn’t want to comment broadly on crime in the area without more specific details about the Baymont by Wyndham shooting.
TK Waters sent this statement to News4JAX:
“For too long, this community has been plagued by senseless crime and gun violence. Our next sheriff must have both the necessary experience and a comprehensive plan to keep our neighbors safe and lead JSO in a new direction to meet these persistent challenges.
There has been progress in the field. Just above the Clay County line, a large homeless camp along Blanding Boulevard was cleared earlier this year.
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