A shooting on Monday morning marks the 24th homicide in 2016, compared to 14 homicides at the same time last year.
“We have a very active gang population in this city and they always have been active,” Lt. Rich Lawhead, San Bernardino County Police, said.
The latest homicide victim was killed Monday morning in an alley not far from the police station.
Officer’s believe the shooting was in retaliation to the death of 21-year-old Jamill Slaughter.
Police said, he was shot in the head Sunday afternoon and crashed his car into a tree.
A suspect in his death was arrested and a gun was also recovered.
Residents who live in the city are tired of the violence.
“It’s scary,” one mother said. “I don’t even let my kids play outside, I keep them inside next to me at all times.”
Police can’t pinpoint why there’s a rise in crime, but they cite state laws that they believe make it more difficult to police communities.
“We do know that we are seeing a lot more of our criminals that would normally be in custody out,” Lawhead said.
Terrance Stone, who runs a non-profit gang intervention program called “Young Visionaries,” steps into help at-risk youth.
“I was in gangs for 15 years,” Stone said. “I count 15 years and I’m a second generation gang member meaning my dad was in a gang.”
Stone keeps photos that show him in his past life.
Working with kids in San Bernardino schools, he hopes to inspire youth to choose a different path.
Stone said the city also needs to help with programming for kids and reopen recreation centers, which budget cuts have affected.
“We need to figure out what can we do for these young people because we can’t just go on in the city and leave these young people out of the equation,” he said.
“The community has to do better and we have to do better,” Lawhead said. “Right now we’re struggling.”
The police department is hiring new officers, seven have already graduated the academy.
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