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Feuding families blamed for Delray Beach shootings

Posted at 4:12 PM, Jul 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-19 18:23:53-04

Delray Beach police have increased patrols after new violence that they have linked to two feuding families.

Police say the groups are responsible for five homicides and dozens of shootings since 2009.

The most recent killing happened Tuesday near Northwest First Street and 6th Avenue. Police identified the victim as 19-year-old Branden Newman. A second person is in critical condition.

Since the homicide, police say there have been two separate shootings, including one just after noon Wednesday in the area of SW 6 St. and 7th Ave. Police say all three might be related.

"I am worried. Moving forward the next couple of days we will have a lot of police presence extra than we normally do," Delray Beach Police Chief Jeff Goldman said.

Chief Goldman believes the violence stems from the murder of Jarvis Collins a year-and-a-half ago. this has been identified as an ongoing feud between two groups we have identified as the James and Johnson affiliation."

Jarvis Collins was a city of Delray Beach worker whom investigators said was killed in February 2016 while trying to stop violence and an ongoing feud between two families.

"They’re not gangs. They're not out there a gang war. This is longtime Delray families have a feud and friends; more people get affiliated and they think they’re kinda' sticking up for big brother."

But, people are afraid of getting caught in the crossfire.

"I’m nervous, I’m afraid and I can’t hold back anymore. I prayed last night and I cried and my husband held me last night and said, "honey we are going to move," one resident said.

Saturday in the city there is a "Stop the Violence" awareness basketball tournament at Pompey Park.

It is just blocks from where the retaliation shootings have taken place. The chief says there will be heavy police presence.