Jazmine Shelton, 13, and best friend Megan Simmons, 14, were shot and killed in August 2013 in a trailer home on Missouri Avenue. | MAD DADSJazmine Shelton, 13, and best friend Megan Simmons, 14, were shot and killed in August 2013 in a trailer home on Missouri Avenue. | MAD DADS
Jazmine Shelton, 13, and best friend Megan Simmons, 14, were shot and killed in August 2013 in a trailer home on Missouri Avenue. | MAD DADS

Sheriff Office reexamines teenage girls’ slayings

Published on May 20, 2024 at 11:00 am

The initial police report is a bleak one: A 13-year-old girl had been shot to death before dawn on Aug. 10, 2013. Her best friend would die later at what is now UF Health Jacksonville.

But no leads have panned out in the 11 years since Jazmine Shelton, 13, and Megan Simmons, 14, were shot at 5221 Missouri Ave., in the Biltmore community off Old Kings Road.

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Now the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is reinvestigating the shootings. Police hope the use of new forensic technology to reexamine the bullets along with other evidence can lead to the killers.

“We are constantly going through the cold case files, looking at cases that can be reviewed again,” Detective Travis Oliver Sr. said. “You have a new set of detectives, and the best thing about cold cases is that you can look at things with a different lens from the way it was looked at in 2013. Investigative technology changes, so we are always looking at cases to see if this case had happened in 2024, what would we do now?”

Jazmine Shelton, 13 and best friend Megan Simmons, 14, were shot in this trailer home on Missouri Avenue in 2013. | Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office

Dozens of bullets hit the trailer he girls were in. Jazmine died in her living room, and her 14-year-old best friend died later. The shooting appears to have stemmed from something that happened earlier in the trailer, Oliver said.

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“There was an incident in the area where a known person was stabbed,” Oliver said. “We believe other occupants of the trailer were involved in that incident. The person … who was involved returned to the trailer, and we feel that the trailer was shot up as a retaliation for the stabbing.”

Detectives interviewed everyone in the trailer, and no one ever passed on any information that could have helped in the murder investigation, Oliver said.

MAD DADs did a community walk with then-Sheriff John Rutherford, in front, and family members to mark the third anniversary of the two girls’ deaths. | MAD DADS

“Since this happened, we have had nothing — nothing else to push,” Oliver said. “We did our normal procedures. We canvassed the neighborhood, and we looked for neighbors with cameras. But at the time of the morning that it happened, all of the neighbors would have been asleep, then awakened by the gunshots, which limits the view of what they saw.”

Anyone with information on the 2013 double murder is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (904) 630-0500, or leave an anonymous tip and be eligible for a possible reward by calling First Coast Crime Stoppers at (866) 845-8477 (TIPS).


author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.
author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.

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