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'We will not tire:' Leaders vow to find person responsible for killing 13-year-old boy in Jacksonville

Thirteen-year-old Prince Holland was shot while in a car leaving football practice Saturday, police said. He was one of three homicides reported over the weekend.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters and Mayor Lenny Curry addressed the public Monday following a violent weekend involving a 13-year-old boy who was shot to death.

"Jacksonville, we will not, will not, tolerate violence for one more day," said Waters, who was also joined by members of city council. "We will not rest, we will not tire, we not waver."

Waters asked the community to partner with JSO to help end the cycle of violence in our city. In addition, he said that police are dedicating 420 man-hours to gun violence.

The State Attorney is also dedicating two additional attorneys, Waters said.

Waters was joined by Mayor Curry who called the weekend's violence 'senseless' and that he fully supports the efforts of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and the State Attorney. 

Prince was shot and killed in the Moncrief area while driving home from football.

"He was friendly with lots of people," his father, Sammy Holland, told First Coast News. "He just started attending church every Sunday."

Credit: Courtesy of family
Prince Holland was 13 when he was shot and killed in the Moncrief area while driving home from football tryouts, police said.

Violent Year

Holland's death marked the 151st homicide in the city in 2022, according to the Florida-Times Union.

With 26 days left in the year, that's already surpassed last year's total of 128, which was a sharp decline from 2020, where there were 177 homicides reported.

This will be the 11th-straight year with over 100 homicides in Jacksonville, and the seventh straight year with over 120. 

Prince was killed while driving home from football tryouts near the Legends Center and Gymnasium, police said, when the car pulled up in an intersection in the Moncrief area and a gunman "inexplicably" opened fire on the car.

“I don’t know exactly what’s going on I can’t speculate who did what. Only thing I know is that my son innocently got killed for whatever reason," said Holland.

The 20-year-old driver, who police said may be a coach, was injured and was in critical condition Saturday night. An 11-year-old passenger was also reportedly shot and in the hospital in stable condition.

“I just hope they step forward and let the Jacksonville sheriffs office know what’s going on because my son was innocent," said Holland. 

Waters stressed Prince's innocence and the importance of finding this shooter. "We lost a 13-year-old kid tonight. He was just leaving football practice," he said. He asked the community to come forward with any information. His message for the shooter: "We're not gonna rest, we're gonna work, until we find out who's responsible." 

But finding Prince's killer isn't the only goal. And Holland's death is a symptom of the much larger problem with violence in Jacksonville.

A history of 'bloody weekends'

Prince's death was reported Saturday night. By 10:45 p.m. Sunday, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office had reported two more homicides in the city. A man was found shot dead at an apartment complex near U.F. Health, police said, and another had been found with gunshot wounds at an industrial building near Downtown Jacksonville.

Violent weekends are a regular occurrence in Jacksonville, often with one in a month. 

A few examples: 

  • In less than 7 hours, between the night of April 30 and the morning of May 1, two people were shot dead and a man was fatally stabbed.
  • Overnight April 16, into the morning of April 17 (Easter Sunday), two were killed and three were wounded within the span of 6 hours.
  • There were three deadly shootings reported the weekend of March 12 and 13.
  • Between Saturday, Feb. 5 and Monday, Feb. 7 at 1.a.m., there were eight shootings in the city. Three were between Sunday night and Monday morning.


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