Possible answers for string of shootings

Posted at 2:20 PM, May 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-16 21:26:25-04

The statistics for shootings in the last week and a half are staggering to officials and residents in Kern County.

In 2016, there have been 75 shootings and 18 homicides so far in Bakersfield, according to Bakersfield Police Sergeant Gary Carruesco.

In 2015, there were 21 homicides total.

Since May 5th, there were 7 homicides in Kern County, making many residents concerned for their safety and curious of the cause.


Carruesco suggested, it could be because of the weather, "when the weather heats up, more people come out, more people are on the streets, and those people become targets unfortunately."

Some of these shootings, which happened in known gang areas, are being tied to gang members, according to police and Local Gang Expert Pastor Arthur Gray.

"This is not a gang spree, this is not a gang initiation. We're seeing a spree of retaliation type incidents, like you took my boyfriend or you took my girlfriend," Gray said.

Gray founded Brother's In Motion 10 years ago and has been trying to get gang violence off the streets. Gray said something bigger is coming to Bakersfield.

"We're talking about a whole united front, type of situation and it's brewing," Gray said.

With the spike in violence, Bakersfield Police are increasing their patrols in the areas that have been hit the hardest over the past couple weeks, and are asking the community for help.

"People are watching, there are cameras everywhere, there's a lot of electronic surveillance everywhere. So it's just a matter of time before these people get caught," Carruesco said.

Gray also made a plea for the violence to stop.

Anyone with any information on these shootings is asked to call BPD at 327-7111.