LA PUENTE, Calif. (FOX 11) - La Puente residents were concerned about more violence in La Puente during their annual 3rd of July fireworks show. The county has seen a spree of shootings in the past week.
Several social media posts warned La Puente residents of a planned rival gang shoot-out during the event. The L.A. County Sheriff’s Captain Bobby Dyche says there was no merit to it, but the city of La Puente and unincorporated areas have experienced four shootings in the past five days. The captain says two were likely gang-related.
“Gang problems are a constant nuisance in our cities and we are trying to help people get out of that gang area, get out of that gang mentality and not do things like this,” said Dyche.
Martha Martinez has been coming to the annual fireworks event for 30 years. She says this year had about half the turnout.
“I’m very saddened to see how empty our park is because usually this is filled with people and this is nothing like every year,” said Martinez.
The Sheriff’s Department deployed more than ten times the number of officers than is usually assigned to the event.
“We have multiple layers of security, some you’re going to see, some you’re not going to see but I guarantee you everything we have from the Sheriff’s Office is here tonight and it’s all dedicated to make sure folks are going to have a nice family, fun time,” Dyche said.
Captain Wyche asks everyone to help be the eyes and ears of the community and anonymously call Crime Stoppers with any information that would help deputies put a stop to gangs and other violence.