Kern County sees rise in violence, murder-suicides in 2021; list of local resources

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — According to our records, the suspected murder-suicide that happened on Sunday is the sixth in Kern County this year.

The murder-suicides are spread out across the year. Two of them even happened on the same day and both were less than a mile away from each other — even though they were unrelated.

Last month, 17 News reported on a murder-suicide that took the lives of a married couple in Southeast Bakersfield. And before that, we had two murder-suicides in March that left four dead, all on the same day within a mile of each other. KCSO said they were unrelated.

READ MORE: Married couple died in murder-suicide, coroner confirms

The neighborhood just north of Valley Plaza Mall where the suspected murder-suicide happened on Sunday has already seen its share of violence. In 2020, a double homicide occurred in that same neighborhood.

This year of increased violence and aggression might stem from overflowing anxiety and stress, according to Ph.D. Licensed Clinical Psychologist Corey Gonzales.

“All of us are capable of being destructive, each one of us,” Gonzales said. “If our backs are against the wall, too much stress, we’re feeling insecure, feeling threatened, we’re obsessive, or alcohol or drugs are involved.”

READ MORE: Kern County has seen possibly 4 murder-suicides in 2021, most listed on Homicide Tracker

Gonzales said people should be aware of their mental state and know when to take a step back. He said even slowing your breathing down can eliminate the effects of adrenaline.

“It’s important if somebody wants some space from you, your best bet is to listen to them and allow them that space,” Gonzales said. “When you allow that space it helps you get that adrenaline out of your body. It helps you get a perspective to get back to your rational self.”

If you or anyone you know is in a situation that needs help, there are several options that can help. Below is a list of numbers you can call to get help, but if it’s an emergency please call 911.

Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault: 322-0931.
24 hour crisis line: 327-1091.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE.

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