‘We want justice’: Family still searching for answers one year after double homicide

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — From our 17 Follow Up File… yet another unsolved homicide in Kern County. It’s been nearly a year since a shooting left two teenagers dead in East Bakersfield. Makhi Bowen and Christian Howell were just 17 and 18 years old when they were shot outside of the Fastrip gas station on Niles Street and Fairfax Road. Family members and loved ones held a vigil, as they’re still searching for answers.

Family members say Christian Howell was just a senior at North High School … but he was already a devoted family man. He was recently engaged to his high school sweetheart.

“This is Christian’s daughter, Calaya Howell,” said Celestina Huerta, Howell’s Fiancee. “She’s gonna know how amazing her dad was, and I’m always gonna keep him alive to her. She’ll know.

Sheriff’s deputies were called to the gas station last November report of the shooting. Makhi was pronounced dead the scene, while Christian died at Kern Medical shortly after.

“I don’t know why. We were just driving. We were just on the way to get my nails done. We were just at a stop light right there,” said Huerta. “When we stopped, my whole life stopped. Everything changed.”

The sheriff’s office has not reported any arrests in this shooting.

“It’s been tragic for our family,” said Kwame Kekaula, Christian’s uncle. “Our family is still trying to cope with it. We want justice. So we can get these people off the streets, so they can’t harm anyone else.”

If you know anything about this shooting, you are encouraged to call the sheriff’s office at 861-3110 … or the Kern Secret Witness line at 322-4040.

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