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Bakersfield Police Department searching for murder suspect Christian Francois Gaines

Christian Francois Gaines
Posted at 4:20 PM, Dec 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-30 03:16:41-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Three men are accused of murder and two of the suspects are behind bars but police need help to apprehend the third suspect who is still at large.

23ABC spoke with the Bakersfield Police Department about the circumstances around the ongoing investigation and efforts to reduce gang violence in the area.

“The individual is wanted for murder involving a firearm so all of the risk involving that, so we don’t encourage anyone to take any kind of action absent law enforcement,” said Sgt. Robert Pair, Bakersfield Police Department.

19-year-old Christian Francois Gaines is described as 6 foot 3 inches tall weighing about 210 pounds with neck tattoos.

Gaines and the other two men who have already been arrested, 28-year-old Demitris King and 19-year-old David Gray, face charges for suspicion of murder, participation in a criminal street gang, and conspiracy.

KCSO said on November 3rd at around 10:30 p.m, police were called to a shooting on Wible Road and Planz Road. They found 21-year-old Justin Anthony Griffin dead, with at least one gunshot wound while sitting passenger in a vehicle.

Pair told 23ABC overall, approximately 56% of people arrested for homicide by BPD are prior convicted felons, which in this case, both King and Gaines fall under.

Although there is no average age for those involved in these cases, Pair said many are very young like the two 19-year-olds involved here.

“Being young and committing these types of acts, it is kind of hard to wrap your mind around because the potential then is that you spend the rest of your life in prison and when your life is just beginning, it is a waste of potential,” said Pair.

Given the volume of gang-related crimes, BPD does have programs where law enforcement along with community groups try to identify those at risk of falling into gangs and steer them into employment or education.

But Pair said since this is the 54th homicide this year, and there have already been five others, there needs to be more than law enforcement efforts.

“It takes a community to finally say enough is enough with violence, it is a matter of how many people need to die before people realize that you are victimizing your own community,” said Pair.