Birthday party guest describes moments before woman, two children shot at park

One adult, two children were shot at birthday party on Sunday in Del Paso Heights.

Helicopters.

Yellow tape.

Flashing lights.

It's hard to believe Sunday afternoon's crime scene at Mama Mark's Park in Del Paso Heights all started as a 7-year-old girl's birthday celebration.

"We came together to get our community back together. This set us back," said Toby Tennessee. "That makes me sad."

Tennesee said the party was for his niece. He was helping the kids set up when shots were fired.

"The little boy...I was just helping him tape the balloon," Tennessee said in disbelief. 

That 11-year-old boy Toby was just helping, a 6-year-old girl and an adult woman were all injured by gunfire and taken to nearby hospitals, according to Sacramento police. As of Sunday night, police expected all victims to survive. But still, this shooting will leave a mark on the community.

"They shot innocent children," said Lt. Shawn Rogers with Sacramento police. "They shouldn't be subject to this, going to a birthday party at the park."

What's hard for many of the neighbors to believe is just a day before, on Saturday, kids were playing peacefully for Grant Little League's opening day right across the street.

Toby said many people in the community have been trying to provide afterschool programs like the baseball league for kids in Del Paso Heights. For Toby, it's personal. He grew up in the neighborhood and admits he hasn't always stayed out of trouble.

"I'm one of the ones who had this neighborhood upside-down on fire," Tennessee said.

But now, he is all about re-building his neighborhood. Programs like Grant Little League are what the Del Paso Heights community needs, and senseless violence like Sunday afternoon's park shooting is what needs to stop.

Police are still looking for the suspects. 

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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