STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — Stockton police detectives have been working around the clock as a wave of homicides impacts the city.
Five people have been shot and killed since Feb. 11, and police said to expect a show of force through the weekend to prevent any more violence.
While family and friends mourned the death of one Stockton homicide victim Thursday night, police detectives were working another homicide just four miles away.
“Right around 5:30 p.m., our officers responded out to Greensboro Way on a report of a shooting,” Joe Silva, with the Stockton Police Department told FOX40.
Flashing lights, crime scene tape and evidence markers littered the scene of Stockton’s fifth homicide in the last seven days.
“Our officers located numerous shell casings on the street in that area, and that just shows the sheer brazenness of this suspect or suspects who were involved in this shooting,” Silva said.
The San Joaquin County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as 20-year-old Rick Seam.
Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln said violent crime affects more than just the victims.
“They’re somebody’s friend. They’re somebody’s loved one, and we can’t forget that,” Lincoln said.
There have been nine homicides in Stockton in 2022, compared to six by this time last year.
“We’ll do everything that we can to ensure that our community is safe and secure,” Lincoln said.
Stockton police are taking a three-pronged approach to address the recent gun violence, including increased patrols, relying on analytics to strategically deploy resources and shared public safety efforts.
“We’re going to be out there to give them some type of sense of security,” Silva said.
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 1000 guns off the street every year, and so our detectives and our officers on the street are working hard to that,” Chraska said.
Police said they solved 50%-60% of homicide cases over the last four to five years but added the public’s help is needed to solve more.
“We can’t do it alone here at the police department. We know that the community can’t do it alone, but by working together, we’re going to be able to solve some of these cases,” Silva said.
Despite the uptick in homicides, city officials said Stockton’s homicide rate was the 2nd 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,” sid city manager Harry Black.
Police said the five homicides over the last week are not connected, and all remain under investigation.