Kern County tops the state for highest homicide rate in counties with populations of 100,000 or more

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Kern County last year had the highest homicide rate of any county in the state with populations of 100,000 or more, according to the state Department of Justice.

Kern in 2019 had a homicide rate of 9.2 per 100,000 people, says a DOJ report released this week. The county had a total of 84 homicides, according to the report.

That number, however, is 12 fewer than the total amount of homicides in the county last year as compiled by the KGET Homicide Tracker, which includes the names and ages of every person killed in the county. It’s unclear why there is a discrepancy, but the Homicide Tracker also includes prison killings and those killed in officer-involved shootings.

And Kern is on track in 2020 for another deadly year. Halfway through the year, the county has been the site of 60 homicides.

That figure includes eight killings in Delano, with each victim 21 or younger. The youngest victim was 11. The unidentified girl and a 12-year-old girl were killed in a shooting Thursday evening.

The body of a 15-year-old Delano boy, Angel Manuel Haro Villareal, was found in May by farmworkers in a vineyard at Cecil Avenue and Wallace Road. The sheriff’s office said he died from gunshot wounds.

In April, 16-year-old Abraham Ali Romero died two days after he was shot in the throat in the 700 block of Anita Avenue.

There were also two deadly shootings in the city in April. Fresno State student Nayeli Carrillo Gonzalez, 19, was gunned down in Cesar Chavez Park on Jan. 2. Adam Rene Guillen, 21, was fatally shot on Jan. 31 while standing with four others at a memorial for the victim of a deadly crash in November.

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