Aiden Michael McClendon, a 22-month-old boy, died early Saturday morning after being struck by gunfire while inside a vehicle with his mother and grandmother. The incident occurred in the 700 block of Spearing Street on the city’s eastside. The shooting is believed to be gang-related.
Mayor Lenny Curry joined Sheriff Mike Williams, State Attorney Angela Corey, City Council members, various local ministers and other community leaders in a news conference on Saturday, Jan. 30, at A. Philip Randolph Park – less than a mile from the scene of the fatal shooting.
Watch unedited video from the Jan. 30 news conference
“These are families. These are individuals. These are children,” said Mayor Curry. “My message today is these are our children. These are my children and your children. These are Jacksonville’s children. And anybody that thinks that they can move across our city and spray bullets into a car – into any car – particularly a car with children or a child in it, I echo what the sheriff said. We are resolute and determined to come after you, to give the sheriff the resources they need – my administration and the city council – to make sure we get you off our streets.”
At the news conference, Mayor Curry announced his commitment to securing an additional $1 million for JSO to increase their efforts in high-crime areas. This would be in addition to the $500,000 he asked the Jax Journey Oversight Committee to appropriate last week.
The Jax Journey is a crime prevention and intervention initiative focused on reducing violent crime in Jacksonville that was re-launched by Mayor Curry in December.
If you have any information that can help JSO solve this crime, please call (904) 630-0500. Reports can also be given anonymously to First Coast Crime Stoppers at (866) 845-8477. A $20,000 reward has been raised by the community for any information leading to an arrest.