SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Neighbors, activists, and law enforcement are calling for change after a weekend of shootings in several Sacramento neighborhoods.
"I just heard all the gunshots… all the police. I thought it was a police chase,” said a concerned mother who lives at the Woodbridge Apartments where two men were killed Monday night. “I just began to call my sons, call people I know in the area."
She said it isn't an area where you'd usually expect a shooting, but community advocate Berry Accius said no community is immune to gun violence right now.
"I want folks to be very clear that a lot of these incidents, 90% of them, are targeted. There's not these random acts of violence that are happening. Unfortunately, individuals are involved in certain things. You don't know what they are," Accius said.
Sacramento police said it’s too early to tell if these shootings are related to gang violence, but they have found some commonalities when looking into the problem of urban violence.
"What we found was really consistent with what we've seen in other cities. What a lot of the research shows is that most violent crime is committed in very small geographic areas within our city, and it's committed by a small number of offenders," said Police Chief Kathy Lester.
Police are focused on that small group of offenders to try and reduce violence as part of the department's violent crime reduction strategy.
"Number one is that we really want to prevent violence from happening in the first place. We are working hard to ensure that people who shouldn't have guns don't have guns and try to remove those from the streets," Lester said.
She said it's bigger than just law enforcement. That the community should also be involved to properly combat the violence.
Advocates and concerned neighbors are asking for long-term funding as a potential solution to curbing crime in the city.
"I think (long-term funding) could help the city speed up certain things that they promised when we had the mass shooting to definitely add more resources and a lot more funding to help support all entities that are dealing with this kind of violence," Accius said.
Others echo Lester's sentiment of working together to stop crime.
"Bring the resources to a lot of these communities. Reach out to the community activists. Reach out and say, 'What can we do? How can we support you? What do we need to bring into this city that's gonna help this generation?'" asked a concerned resident.
Lester calls these shootings heartbreaking. She said it's a shared responsibility, where the police department, the city and community-based organizations all need to come together and work on preventing and reducing gun violence.
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