Statement on the Sturgeon City Incident
October 24, 2021 at the Sturgeon City Environmental Education Center
Jacksonville City Mayor, Sammy Phillips extends condolences to the family of the victims from a shooting incident that occurred in the early morning of October 24, 2021 at Sturgeon City, 50 Court Street in downtown Jacksonville.
Mayor Phillips stated, “Director of Public Safety, Chief Mike Yaniero has told me that the incident is an isolated case and the investigation is ongoing.”
Chief Yaniero added, “Crime is not tolerated in the City and those responsible when caught, will be prosecuted.”
The site at 50 Court Street was originally the City’s wastewater treatment plant. For decades, Sturgeon City has hosted environmental education programs at the facility through the non-profit.
The City leases the land to the independent non-profit for their use. Sturgeon City is not managed by the City of Jacksonville, but the City has supported their efforts to clean up Wilson Bay and provide educational programming for students and visitors. The City led a community effort in the 1990s to clean up Wilson Bay and the New River. The concept for Sturgeon City emerged as a part of this effort.
Sturgeon City Park and the boardwalk along Wilson Bay are public spaces bordering the site.
Richard Woodruff, Jacksonville City Manager stated, “Sturgeon City has long been a place of pride and renewal for this community and we will continue to champion their educational efforts. We want Sturgeon City to remain a place where we can all come to enjoy the outdoors, learn about the preservation of our coastal areas and improving the health of our local waterways.”
Representatives of Sturgeon City have told Jacksonville officials that the environmental education center was being rented at the time of the incident and that the parties involved misled Sturgeon City staff about the type of event being held. Staff are cooperating fully with police and are looking at ways to make sure this type of incident will not happen again.
Jacksonville Police are urging anyone with information about the incident to please contact Jacksonville Police Criminal Investigations Division Detective Ashley Gilley at 910-938-6407 firstname.lastname@example.org or Crime Stoppers at 910-938-3273.
Media Contact: Jacksonville Media Services: 910 938-6537