STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — A vigil is being held in Stockton for one of the four people who died this week during a surge in homicides.
There have been four homicides in five days, leaving several families forever changed.
“He loved me so much, and this wasn’t part of his plan. Like it wasn’t something that we ever saw coming,” said mother-to-be Alyssa Henderson.
Henderson said her fiance, 31-year-old Mark Scott was shot and killed on his lunch break while he waited for her.
“Definitely well-loved. Well-liked. A lot of people know who he is. So, just overall, he’s just fun-loving, full of life, full of energy. I mean, always smiling. Like such an infection smile and just an overall good person,” Henderson said.
Scott was a paraprofessional who worked with special education students for the Stockton Unified School District. He also coached baseball at Edison High.
“Mark was my everything. He was all I had. That was my baby, and I loved him a whole lot,” said Marvis Scott, Mark Scott’s mother.
“It matters to me. I need to know what happened and why somebody would take him away from us,” Henderson added.
Interim Police Chief James Chraska said there have been eight homicides in Stockton this year. It’s two more than this time last year, but he said reducing gun violence is their focus.
“Families have seen a lot of trauma as well. And so we’re working diligently. Detectives are working really hard to solve these cases,” Chraska said.
“There are senseless acts of violence that individuals are committing and that are totally unacceptable,” said Mayor Kevin Lincoln.
Weeks ago, the city unveiled a post-pandemic recovery plan with the goal to change the city’s image.
“Stockton is the 13th largest city in California, and we’re one of three cities that saw a double-digit reduction in crime and homicides over last year. So, our efforts to mitigate crime and homicides and shooting in Stockton, they’re working,” Lincoln said.
“Stockton today is a totally different city than the Stockton of 2010, 2012, 2013, even 2014. That’s an old city. Stockton is different today,” said city manager Harry Black.
Black said while any loss of life is tragic, changing the city’s perception starts with Stocktonians.
“We have to get them to thinking about their city differently. So, when they communicate with people outside of Stockton, we don’t want them defaulting to a negative articulation of their city, which may not be based in fact,” Black said.
Police said each of the four recent homicides is still under investigation, but they are not connected.