BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Homicides are a plague in Kern County. No two ways about that.
Last year was the deadliest on record. Unfortunately, at the pace we’re on right now, Kern County will likely break that record this year.
Community advocates will be gathering at the Liberty Bell on Truxton Avenue for a vigil to raise awareness about the surge in gang violence, a contributing factor in the 14 homicides this month. This raises the total to 93 killings so far this year.
August got a deadly start. Almost every day for the first 16 days someone was killed.
We’ve had multiple unsolved homicides with seven bodies recovered.
Authorities only confirming the victims died at the hands of another.
This weekend, 61-year-old Alfred Lee Williams was shot and killed on South Owens Street near California Avenue.
Earlier this month, we had two officer involved shootings. One at an apartment on Stephens Drive and the other at the neighborhood on Autumn Crest Drive.
Three of the homicides this month are linked to domestic violence.
Looking back, there was a double homicide at the Grassotti Townhomes.
Investigators allege Bryson Blair killed his wife and the night manager who stepped in to protect the woman.
“She told my father multiple times she didn’t feel safe because he threatened to kill her,” Douglass Dobarro the son of Night Manager Eugene Dobarro said. “They just let him go and they let him go twice. And then the third time was sadly the final time. And my father lost his life as well as the young lady.”
This month we’ve had at least one suspected gang related homicide.
An 11-year-old girl was shot when a suspected gang drove up to the family’s car and opened fire.
“Gang members don’t show any regard for human life be it an adult or children, Lt. Joel Swanson from Kern County Sheriffs Office said. “Shooting into vehicles, just randomly firing shots, innocent bystanders often get hit.”
Gang violence will in the spotlight at the Liberty Bell in Downtown Bakersfield during the vigil.