JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A young mother gunned down in front of her family on Thanksgiving Day. A teenager shot and killed after an argument over loud music the next day. A 5-year-old boy grazed by a bullet that flew through a window just yesterday.
If it seems like you've been hearing about a lot shootings lately, you have. But it doesn't mean crime, overall, is up in Jacksonville.
"We're at a 40 year low," said Sheriff John Rutherford. "But this gun violence has got to stop."
He broke down the numbers for us. Murder in Duval County is up. Last year, there were 60. So far this year, there have been 86. But that's still far fewer than 2007, when there were 125 murders.
"As long as we have one murder, I'm not happy with that," said the Sheriff.
Aggravated batteries are down 8.67% However, aggravated batteries involving guns are up almost 2%. And one where the gun was actually fired is up 22%.
"So these bad guys out there carrying these guns, and they are showing a greater propensity to use it," he said.
In an effort to cut down on gun violence, Sheriff Rutherford is once again touting his gun bounty program. He'll pay you if you help get a bad guy and an illegal gun off the street. "Look, the community knows who's out there carrying these guns. They know who these folks are. Call us and tell us and you can earn a $1,000 bounty."
The sheriff says when you think of the victims and their families, one shooting is too many. "We're happy about the numbers because they're going down. But I'm not happy with the numbers."
Tax money is not used to pay that gun bounty. The Sheriff says the money comes from private fundraisers and seized drug money.