As the Natomas Little League Aggies gear up to take on the River Hawks at Peregrine Park, some who should be on the field are missing – because of gangs.
Some families chose to keep their little sluggers home rather than let them play at a place that was sprayed with bullets over the weekend by suspected gang members targeting a 1-year-old’s birthday party.
Jacoby James, 29, was killed and six others hurt as those bullets flew between party-goers and a gunman walking through the park.
No arrests have been made.
“I live here in Natomas. It could happen anywhere,” little league mom Bonnie Padilla said.
Padilla didn’t want to let fear keep her family at home.
Kimberly Owens understands what those other families were feeling and returned to Peregrine, just for Tuesday’s game.
“We were supposed to have practice yesterday. A lot of the parents were concerned so we told everyone to stay at home and told everyone to practice with their little one on their own,” she said.
There are high hopes among those in the stands and in the homes near the park that the effort to take it back from criminals hits a home run.
“I just hope this is the safest park right now because everyone’s on high alert, so maybe we’ll be O.K. Hopefully we’ll be O.K.,” said Owens.