BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Deep in a sea of vineyards, you’ll come across a makeshift memorial; put together with dozens of candles, bouquets of flowers and a few empty beer bottles. An expression of sorrow after the deaths of 16-year-old Valentin Ramirez, 17-year-old Raul Fernandez, and 18-year-old Adrian Ochoa.
“Every kid here represents the kids in our community,” said Martha Elias, community member. “They can be any [of our students, sons, or cousins.”
It happened on Friday. A passerby called 9-1-1 after hearing shots fired in vineyards near Weedpatch Park. When deputies arrived they found a car half a mile away with two victims inside, they had been shot. The pair was pronounced dead moments later.
Deputies searched the area and found the third victim in a nearby vineyard. That person was already dead.
“When a tragedy happens it doesn’t just happen one family, it affects all families, it affects the community, our schools,” said Elias.
Elias is one of the dozens of community members who attended a vigil in honor of the three boys on Saturday.
“This is a small community and when these things happen, it hits us hard every time,” said Elias.
We attempted to contact the family, but they did not want to comment.
This is an ongoing investigation. no suspects have been identified at this time.
KCSO has reported the shooting was gang-related.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Kern County Sheriff’s Office at 661-861-3110 or the Secret Witness Hotline at 661-322-4040.