BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Takeoff, a 28-year-old rapper of the Grammy-nominated group ‘Migos’ was reported dead Tuesday morning after police responded to the scene in Houston, Texas.
His death now leaves him a part of a string of artists ranging from 20 to 36 who have died by gun violence since 2018, and is also symbolic of another young life lost due to gun violence.
Bakersfield resident Manuel Carrizalez has seen gun violence all his life but shares it is getting worse and taking younger lives.
“There’s no rules any more. You hear kids being shot just a few months ago, there was a little girl shot right there in that corner she was only 13 years old, in junior high, and so there is shootings happening all over our city even right down the street a five-year-old kid, a seven-year-old kid, so it’s been happening but there’s no rules anymore it’s sad to say,” said Carrizalez.
Carrizalez is the founder of Stay Focused Ministries and helps youth get on the right path through ministry after lives of gang violence and substance abuse. Carrizalez shares that he attended 67 funerals last year for the lives lost in the neighborhood and that young people today don’t see the detriment of gun violence.
“Now it’s just totally Hollywood, they glamorize it, but it gets darker and darker and darker, that’s the problem they don’t tell the tail end of what’s going to happen, you become this this is what happens to you, you do this this is what happens to you,” said Carrizalez.
Bakersfield NAACP President Patrick Jackson agrees and shares that he sees the violence happening in young communities and that now is the time for a change.
“Every community deal with violence but for us to accept it as our culture is a whole different problem so we as a community have to stand up and say we want something different and we want something different for our families, for our children, for our grandmothers, our grandfathers and our families to be able to have a cohesive environment that they don’t live in fear within themselves of each other,” said Jackson.
Both are working to tackle the issue. The NAACP works with an outreach organization to bring gun violence awareness to the community. Carrizalez continues to minister to youth and will speak to different Kern County schools this week about gun violence awareness and more, hoping this conversation can continue.