STOCKTON – It was a busy weekend for Stockton police after gun violence erupted in the city, leaving a 19-year-old dead and two others shot multiple times in separate incidents.
Police say none of the shootings appear to be connected.
Community leaders like Victory Outreach Pastor Karloz Velazquez say they were saddened by the recent shootings.
“Number one we send our love and our prayers and our condolences to those family members that have lost a loved one through all of this,” he said.
Velazquez’s church does a lot of work in the city to end gun violence.
“We have a rehabilitation home for men to come into and when they get out of jail or they're just tired of being on the streets or violent. Then they come to this home and we really work with them in order to help them change their lives,” he stated.
Velazquez says for more than a decade his ministry has gone out into the roughest neighborhoods in Stockton to offer intervention and prevention.
“We work with our teenagers and our young generation so that they'll never have to live that life or pick up a gun and feel they need to,” Velazquez said.
On Friday, a 15-year-old boy was shot multiple times through his bedroom window during a drive-by.
On Saturday, a man was shot several times in his car on Kelley Drive by someone in a silver SUV. Just a minute later, police were called out to Sandalwood Drive for another shooting but that time the victim died.
Velazquez says the violent weekend only motivates him and his church to continue their community outreach to end gun violence.
“It makes me just want to do more for our neighborhoods because we love our city. We have a beautiful city,” he said. “The city of Stockton they may say is a violent city but we have a strong city and a resilient city. And with that it just makes me grieve for those families that they have to go through something like this.”
Stockton Police Department’s Public Information Officer, Joe Silva, said in a statement:
“This has been an extremely busy weekend. Our officers, detectives, evidence technicians and dispatchers have been working around-the-clock handling this uptick in violence.”
Authorities are asking for the public’s help in catching the suspects in what Silva calls “these brazen shootings.”