Arrest Made in Fatal Shooting of 16-Year-Old in Jacksonville

Jacksonville, Florida – A 19-year-old man has been taken into custody by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office on charges of murder in connection with the shooting death of a 16-year-old in Mandarin back in December 2023. Colton Moore, who was already being held on unrelated charges, is now facing accusations of killing Derek Pitts.

Pitts tragically lost his life in the parking lot of the Coopers Hawk Apartment homes on Old St. Augustine Road on December 30, 2023. The incident occurred during a gathering that initially took place at a different location but later moved to the apartment complex. According to authorities, a fight broke out between two groups, leading to gun violence that claimed Pitts’ life.

Witnesses reported that at least 10 shots were fired during the altercation, with Pitts being struck by one of the bullets. Despite efforts to save him, Pitts succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. The devastation of Pitts’ untimely death has reverberated through the community, with loved ones describing him as a cheerful and sports-loving teenager.

Bernardette Howarth, Pitts’ aunt, shared fond memories of his vibrant personality, highlighting his passion for Philadelphia sports, cars, and bringing joy to those around him. Howarth fondly recalled how Pitts always sought to uplift others with his humor and kindhearted nature.

Following diligent investigative work by authorities, including the handling of multiple tips from First Coast Crime Stoppers, Moore was identified as the prime suspect in Pitts’ murder. The arrest marks a significant development in the case, bringing a sense of closure to Pitts’ family and friends as they seek justice for his senseless death.