Halfway through 2018, homicides in Kern County outpacing 2017 killings


It’s a new normal. 

Halfway through 2018, Kern County has seen 55 homicides, six more than at the same time last year. 

17 News has the Homicide Tracker to give a greater perspective, to go beyond the numbers.

In many cases the victims stories aren’t told, and details go unreported. 

We hope to change that. 

15 year old Candis Breanne Beckemeyer was out late celebrating an early birthday one Saturday night in April, when tragedy struck.

Shots rang out in southeast Bakersfield, and Candis was killed. 

Halfway through the year, our data show this area of Bakersfield for the third year in a row has the highest number of killings.

It’s part of the 93307 zip code, which has already seen nine homicides since January.

Two more homicides than the same time last year. 

Of the 55 homicides so far in 2018, more than two thirds of the victims have been Hispanic, 14 more Hispanic deaths than the same time last year.

And more than half of those Hispanic victims were under the age of 30, like 19 year old Kasey Villegas, who was stabbed to death in February outside the fox theater.

Four people were arrested on murder charges, and accused of participating in a gang.

In killings where a motive is known, only eight have been determined to be gang related, three more than this time last year. 

Five homicides have been related to family, domestic, or child abuse, like 24 year old Alyson Muniz, allegedly shot by her boyfriend.

Or the high profile case of two-year-old Ramon Angel Reyes-Chavez, allegedly killed in late April by his mother and her boyfriend.

And with 61 percent of 2018 cases unsolved this year, more and more killers continue to walk among us. 

One interesting stat also jumps out: there have been no fatal officer involved shootings so far this year, a first since 2010.


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