STOCKTON — Bullet holes and shattered car windows were evidence of a violent weekend in Stockton that all started Friday morning.
“This is not OK. This is not how we want our community to be,” said Senior Stockton Police Chaplain Jesse Kenyon.
Three shootings, five bodies and one woman clinging to life in the hospital all took place over the span of three days.
“Cowards with guns going out and committing shootings, which are resulting in homicides, and that’s destroying families,” said Stockton Police spokesman Joe Silva.
Silva said the recent gun violence concerns his department and the entire community.
“Our investigators, our officers have been working nonstop, around the clock trying to figure out exactly who’s responsible,” he said.
Police say a gunman walked right up to a car in the McDonald’s drive-thru on MLK Boulevard Saturday night and shot a man and woman sitting inside. Both victims, in their early 20s, were rushed to the hospital but the man later died.
“The female currently is critical but stable,” Silva said.
Just a few hours later, while detectives were still working that scene, officers were called to another shooting on Volney Street. A mother was found shot to death outside.
Kenyon was called as part of the Neighborhood Impact Team that responds to each shooting.
“It is devastating. I pray often that these kinds of things don’t happen but when they do it’s pretty tragic to see the kind of behavior that’s going on,” he said.
Much of the street remained blocked off overnight and into Sunday morning as detectives continued collecting evidence.
The latest murder came after three young adults were gunned down in a car on Finland Avenue Friday morning.
“We have seen an uptick in gun violence in our city which has resulted in five people being shot and killed and that is just unacceptable,” Silva stated.
No arrests have been made and police are calling on the community to help catch the killers.
“We know there’s people out there that have that information. We need them to do the right thing, step up to the plate and get us that information so we can arrest these suspects who are cowards with guns and get them off the streets before they can hurt anyone else,” Silva expressed.
Brian Muhammad with Advanced Peace Stockton said his anti-gun violence organization is responding.
“We have outreach workers who are from the neighborhoods that come from the streets and we try to give training to them. So they’ll be able to go back and become like mentors and conflict mediation specialists,” he explained.
His organization targets people who they deem most likely to be a victim or a perpetrator of gun violence and offers them resources as an alternative. He acknowledged there’s more work to be done.
“It’s going to take everybody. It’s going to take organizations like Advanced Peace, the Office of Violence Prevention,” Muhammad said. “It’s going to take community organizers. It’s going to take regular community people all galvanizing together in a unified fashion to go and try to help as much as we can in these neighborhoods.”
The Stockton Police Department’s Neighborhood Impact Team will be organizing community walks in each neighborhood to try and bring the community together and show a united front to end gun violence.