STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — Stockton’s city manager said less than half of the city’s 11 homicides so far this year are connected to local gangs.
It had been less than a day since Stockton’s last homicide when City Manager Harry Black released a statement on the “recent spike” in deadly violence. Wednesday night, a 19-year-old was shot and killed in north Stockton and two others were wounded. The shooter was still at large the following day.
This time last year, Black said Stockton had seen six killings but added that shootings are down 20% in comparison.
“As of right now, we believe that less than half of the homicides are group/gang related, while the others are likely more isolated in nature,” Black said.
Black did not expand upon those findings.
He went on to say that officials are “racking and monitoring at least two potential gang related disputes in different sectors of the city.”
Last week, Stockton police explained how they are taking a three-pronged approach to address the recent gun violence, including increasing patrols, relying on analytics to strategically deploy resources and sharing public safety efforts.
Stockton Interim Police Chief James Chraska said his department is also focused on getting guns off the streets.
“In the city of Stockton, annually, could take 800 to 1,000 guns off the street every year,” Chraska said. “And so our detectives and our officers on the street are working hard to that.”
Police said they solved 50% to 60% of homicide cases over the last four to five years.
Despite the uptick in homicides, city officials said Stockton’s homicide rate was the second-lowest in the state. Stockton was also one of only three cities to see a double-digit reduction in crime and homicides in 2021.
“The perception of Stockton is truly just that. The data does not support the notion that Stockton is a dangerous city,” Black recently said.
Read Black’s full statement below.
This is a short update on where the City of Stockton is at the moment in terms of the recent spike in homicides. As of this morning, we have had 11 homicides thus far this year, 5 more than this time last year. Shootings are down 20% from last year at this time. Stockton Police are aggressively using neighborhood teams and detective resources to solve these homicides.
As of right now, we believe that less than half of the homicides are group/gang related, while the others are likely more isolated in nature. We are tracking and monitoring at least two potential gang related disputes in different sectors of the city. Our violence prevention teams are on the ground and engaging community members, as well as known members of these gangs, with an eye towards deescalating some of the prevailing tensions and getting the groups to a cooling off point. This also entails providing well-being support to the victim’s families.
Our violence prevention teams are engaging the affected communities and providing support to those communities with respect to their voluntary efforts to help stabilize the situation. The Stockton Police Department will continue its stepped up efforts to solve these homicides, and our violence prevention teams will continue their efforts to deescalate some of the tensions, while also being there for the victim’s families.
The safety and well-being of our community is our top priority and we will do what’s necessary to ensure that we are optimizing our efforts in this regard.Stockton City Manager Harry Black