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STOCKTON’S POLICE CHIEF, members of his department and educational leaders walked a city neighborhood last week to talk to residents about gun violence in the area.
Chief Stanley McFadden stood about one house away from Van Buren Elementary School, in the location where a triple shooting had taken place last month.
“If you know something, say something, our children deserve to be able to walk to and from school and go to parks and go to the mall and not worry about violence in our city.”Traci Miller, Stockton Unified School District interim superintendent
About 9:10 p.m. March 1, a shooting was reported in the 2400 block of Tiffany Street.
Officers found a 17-year-old, a 19-year-old and a 20-year-old who had been shot. Two of the victims died.
Interim Superintendent for Stockton Unified School District Traci Miller walked with city officials, going door-to-door, to talk with residents about safety in the community and the shootings.
“If you know something, say something, our children deserve to be able to walk to and from school and go to parks and go to the mall and not worry about violence in our city,” Miller said. “It has to stop.”
Only two minutes from the area, a double homicide on March 4 at Southside Market left two men dead.
“I’m a firm believer that before a crime occurs someone knows that crime is about to occur,” McFadden said. “While the crime is occurring, I am sure that someone knows it’s occurring, as well as after the fact I’m sure there’s people that know.”
Turning to the community for help
The chief said he is calling on people to come forward if they know anything about the cases.
In response to some of the shooting victims being young teenagers, such as 17-year-old Thai Khin, the chief said there needs to be more afterschool activities.
Khin was a Cesar Chavez High School student who was fatally shot this month at a park near his high school during school hours.
“I think it’s upon all of us to be at the same table having these conversations … when the bell rings at three we need to have them (students) in an activity at 3:30,” McFadden said.
Walking through the streets of her own neighborhood and walking onto the Van Buren campus ground where she was a yard duty for 20 years was Georgia Brownlee, Sierra Vista’s resident council president.
She said she has lived in the area for 27 years and agreed that a potential solution to decreasing crime and gun violence in the city is having more strategies to set up youth programs.
Additionally, she believes there should be parenting classes to not leave them out of the conversation and get them help as well.
According to Brownlee, the walk-throughs have been beneficial, but she wants to see more help and people come to her community.
“The walk-throughs are great and if we can have more of that it will be a big help,” Brownlee said. “We need to have more officials involved.”
Victoria Franco is a reporter based in Stockton covering San Joaquin County for Bay City News Foundation and its nonprofit news site Local News Matters. She is a Report for America corps member.