ST. PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) – Over the weekend Jaquez Eugene Jackson, 17 became the seventh murder victim in St. Petersburg over the past few weeks.
Police believe Jackson was in a car with other young men when he and another unidentified victim were shot.
“Apparently these two young men were riding together in a stolen car when another vehicle pulled alongside them, we’re not sure what the issues are at this point, but there was some prior dispute, or some ongoing dispute and shots were fired into the car where the two young men were wounded,” said Mike Puetz with the St. Petersburg Police Department.
Police have now pulled in detectives from across the department to work on homicide cases because of the volume of work in front of them.
“We have, not just our homicide detectives involved in this, we have detectives from across our investigative bureau all actively involved in every aspect of the investigation in each one of these cases,” said Puetz.
A number of people in the community are now concerned because of all of the recent violent deaths, although police do not believe the murders are related.
“I think it’s a sad situation with the state of the youth and the way that they living and the things that are going on,” said Vincent Walker who lives not far from where the two most recent victims were discovered.
Walker says there have been many problems in his neighborhood recently.
“It’s been a lot of auto thefts, that’s the biggest thing is the kids stealing the cars and riding through the neighborhood 80, 90 miles an hour and they know the cops can’t chase em so it’s a game, ” said Walker.
Police believe one problem often leads to another and the car thefts are a concern. Mike Puetz says it’s a situation they need help with from the community and parents.
“You’ve got to pay attention to what your kids are doing. We are seeing too many cases where kids are out at 1, 2, 3, 4 o’clock in the morning. In many cases they are breaking into cars, they are stealing cars,” said Puetz.
Police are working on several leads in the Jackson murder, but they have not named a suspect.