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Family mourns loss of family member to gun violence, asks for a change

Posted at 7:38 PM, Dec 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-29 22:38:07-05

WASCO, Calif. — A family is still mourning the loss of 32-year-old Jamiel Ringold, who was shot and killed the day before Christmas Eve.

After the family's call to end violence tonight the mayor of Wasco says he has a plan.

“People shouldn’t have to live like this and we shouldn’t have to bury our people either," said Helen Murray, a family member.

Last week Helen Murray lost a family member to gun violence.

“People are getting shot in the streets, people are getting shot on the sidewalks, people are getting shot at parks. Some of these people are dying," added Murray.

According to Murray, the violence in Wasco has only gotten worse and is causing people to fear the place that they live.

“People begin to stay in their homes and when the dark comes, shut the doors, close the curtains, people should not have to live like that,” said Murray.

The Mayor of Wasco, Alex Garcia, also believes that the violence in the city is unacceptable and will be implementing a plan in 2021 to help bring the community together and keep the town safe.

“We will be working hand in hand with law enforcement, other agencies, moms in the community who I have already been in conversation with, to tackle this issue,” said Garcia.

Wasco isn’t the only town in Kern County that has seen violence at a high, Bakersfield has had 41 homicides in 2020, in 2019 there were 36.

In total Kern County has seen 132 homicides in 2020 so far compared to 2019 when only 95 homicides were reported. But there are also organizations that are trying to help stop the violence through faith.

“We go out and tell people about the salvation of Jesus Christ and how they can turn away from gang violence they can turn away from the bondage of drug addiction and we try to help the community,” said Martin Carmona Jr., Victory Outreach Church, staff.

Victory Outreach Church is based in East Bakersfield and has made it its mission to help those who may be involved in gangs, drug abuse, or struggling from homelessness and provide them with resources to turn their lives around.

“Rid the community of all of this violence and all of this drug use and we try to spread positivity and be a light in this dark world,” added Carmona Jr.

Murray also wants the community to stay positive in times of violence and hopes that people will come together to help stop it.

“There are a lot of killings in this town and it has to stop. It has to stop, and we plead and we ask the people of Wasco to come together and step up.”

As of Tuesday, the shooting involving Jamiel Ringold is still under investigation.

If you have any information regarding this incident officials are asking that you contact them at the Kern County Sheriff’s Office at (661) 391-7500.