City, Community Leaders Defend Del Paso Heights Neighborhood Following Park Shooting

SACRAMENTO -- A day after an adult and two kids were shot at a park in Del Paso Heights, community leaders are speaking up to defend their neighborhood.

Fortunately, police say all three victims are expected to be OK, but unfortunately, police have no new suspect information.

Less than 24 hours after the police lights, officers and crime scene tape are gone... And at first glance, Mama Marks Park seems to be returning to normal. But with two kids and an adult in the hospital recovering from gunshot wounds, the park remains empty, with few people wanting to return.

"The kids' birthday party had nothing to do with the shooting... That was two separate groups entirely. So it was cowardly and just extremely frustrating," said Mervin Brookins, who has worked hard to change the image and future of Del Paso Heights.

He's the president of the Grant Youth Sports League and works with the organization Brother to Brother to help at-risk youth.

"This community has been under-served for decades, we've lacked resources, we've lacked funding," he said.

However, Brookins says conditions have been improving, with help from City Council Member Allen Warren, whose District 2 includes Del Paso Heights.

"We've allocated more resources to our parks department, to youth activities, to our police department," Warren told FOX40.

Warren has been in contact with the family of one of the victims, a 10-year-old boy who was shot three times. The boy is now recovering at UC Davis Medical Center. Warren said the wounded appear to be innocent bystanders. He now fears his district and others won't feel safe at this park.

"The issue that happened yesterday is rare... In fact, this is the first interview that I've had to do in over four years as it relates to a park shooting," Warren said.

Brookins agrees this shooting will hurt his efforts to get kids and teen away from gang life.

"You know yesterday was a very tragic incident, but Del Paso Heights has experienced the biggest drop in crime rates in the city... But sometimes you just can't regulate stupid, there's nothing you can do about stupid, and that's what happened yesterday," Brookins said.

Police are still asking for witnesses to come forward. You can call them at: (916) 264-5471.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the victims. You can donate here.