STOCKTON — The Cal Park liquor store in Stockton is notorious for the violence that so often strikes nearby, but when we spoke with neighbors about the latest victim, a 2-year-old who had been grazed in the head by a bullet, the outrage was visible.
“A 2-year-old didn’t ask to get shot. A 2-year-old didn’t ask to be up on the street just walking… they (are) so innocent,” Eanaiaa Saunders, a neighbor said.
“It’s just really sad to see. I just can’t believe it’s a 2-year-old… like, I can’t even find words right now because it’s so shocking,” said Kaitlyn Bailey, another neighbor.
Investigators said shots rang out around 11 on Sunday night at California and Park Streets. The mother left the toddler with a friend outside the liquor store while she went inside.
“Just during those few minutes minutes that she’s inside the store, witnesses describe hearing gunshots,” said Officer Joe Silva, a spokesman with the Stockton Police Department.
Witnesses told investigators they saw a hail of bullets fly between a vehicle and a group standing outside a nearby apartment complex. Investigators added two vehicles that were driving through the area were also the target of gunfire.
Fortunately, the drivers inside those vehicles were not hurt. When officers arrived they found the injured child in his mother’s arms. While police have not released a motive nor suspect information, neighbors agree this type of senseless crime, especially against a child, needs to end.
“Blood and Crip and this and that but… it’s deeper than a color, we’re all human beings at the end of the day and the 2-year-old didn’t deserve that,” Bailey said.
The child is recovering at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.