Stockton reaches a milestone that it didn’t want to reach, 32 murders so far this year; last year there were 32 murders total.
The 32nd fatal shooting happened in an apartment complex on Shelley Court.
Neighbors heard the commotion and the gunshots just before 8:30 Sunday night. Police say a 44-year-old man was killed while trying to calm down a fight after an attempted kidnapping.
“He was a nice person,” said his friend Sherry Jackson. “I had no problems with him the whole time he’d been here.”
Police believe that victim was innocent, and he wasn’t the only seemingly innocent victim of gun violence this weekend.
Alexis Sanchez, 17, had his life cut short Saturday night when a gunman driving in an SUV fired shots into her car while riding with his cousin. Relatives say Sanchez would have been a junior at Franklin High School, and he leaves behind a heartbroken young wife in Mexico.
Joe Silva of the Stockton Police Department said, “These last two homicides are concerning and alarming to us.” Silva says the Stockton Police Department is trying to prevent these shootings from happening. “Right now we don’t know why we’ve seen an uptick in our homicide levels,” he said. “It’s definitely a concern and we’re going to be doing whatever we can to lower them.”
The 32 murders so far this year is equal to last year’s total, but is less than half of the murders Stockton saw 2 years ago. The department says the average rate is around 40 per year.
Police say the department is concerned about the increase so far this year. They plan to continue methods that work, like enforcing high crime areas and partnering with other local law enforcement.
No arrests have been made in either of this weekend’s shootings. The Stockton Police Department is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in either case.