JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Aretha, 64, is concerned about her safety in the community she has called home for decades.
"I hate to say it, but the worst is really yet to come," she said.
She is so fearful she did not want us to identify her exact address or take pictures of her face. Aretha lives in the crime-riddled New Town community.
She said living there is not what it used to be when she was growing up.
"Now in the neighborhood it is always look behind you," she said. "Make sure you are certain of your surroundings. Watch all strangers because you never know when."
She said the shooting on Wednesday that left five injured is the latest in a turf war.
"A turf war over silly petty stuff. You did this to me and I'm going to get you," she said.
She said she can name all of the main characters involved, but didn't. The situation is so dreadful she refuses to let her grandchildren walk to the convenience store.
Aretha said it is not just outside. She said even being in her home is not safe.
"It is hard sometimes to really sleep," said Aretha, "A boy got killed across from me a few years back and one of the bullets hit my window, so it took me a while to get over that."
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Aretha said the turf battles are so fierce, the residents have named their community after a war zone.
"This is PYC Pakistan," she said. "Yes Pakistan."
New Town Success Zone reports crime has dropped 40 percent since 2010. And the residents say they've noticed a lot more presence from JSO, even so they feel trapped.
Aretha said until things change, the streets in her neighborhood will always be named fear and uncertainty.
"We don't have anywhere to go. We can't jump up and buy another house," she said, "we want to be safe in our neighborhood."
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First Coast News