4 killed in separate shootings in Lancaster over 24-hour span

A series of shootings in Lancaster over 24 hours has left four people dead and several others injured. 

According to investigators with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the string of gang-related shootings involved a total of ten victims.  

Two people were later pronounced dead at Antelope Valley Hospital and at least five shooting victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Authorities say gunfire erupted in a residential neighborhood at Avenue J-12 and Challenger Way around 6 p.m.

Sheriff’s officials told FOX11 Wednesday night’s shooting was a drive-by and appears to be gang-related, possibly a case of retaliation in response to the series of shootings the night before. 

"I know my son is in the hospital, but they’re not giving me answers," said Sharon Jones as she paced outside the Lancaster Sheriff’s station for an update on her son who was shot Wednesday night and taken to Antelope Valley Hospital. 

"It’s not fair to me and the other parents that have been out there," she said.

The distraught mother waited for over an hour at the Sheriff’s station before returning to the hospital to check on the condition of her 23-year-old son Keldrige Stewart. 

"It’s ridiculous… back and forth…back and forth. Young kids are out here getting shot while my son is lying on the ground," she said. 

Her son was later pronounced dead. 

Tuesday night, three separate shootings in the Antelope Valley city left two others dead and at least one injured. 

"Let's not mistake what this is, these are domestic terrorists. With assault weapons, three homes were sprayed with assault weapons. This is war," Lancaster Mayor Rex Perris stated. 


Chief Rodrick Armalin is heading the new Lancaster Police Department which was recently created to work with LA County Sheriff’s Office out of the Lancaster station, which city officials say is understaffed. 

Armalin, who is a former sheriff's deputy, said he feels LASD's homicide investigators will get to the bottom of this series of shootings, and wants to supplement deputies' work with his own officers by "going beyond solving the crimes, but working with the community to deal with the issues behind those crimes". 

 "I have deputies out there working 20-hour shifts, that's criminal. We have a drone program, where I can put a drone over a house in 60 seconds, and the sheriff has not yet agreed to use it, in a station where he has been remanded to 50% of the people needed," Perris said.  

"I am fully supportive of the hard-working deputies," the mayor said. "But we need more, and I am tired of begging the Board of Supervisors".

Supervisor Katherine Barger told FOX 11 she wants every available resource to saturate the area. Her office released the following statement, "The violence that is occurring in Lancaster is deeply disturbing. I believe every available resource should be used to quickly saturate the area and show the community that violence is unacceptable and public safety will be enforced. I’m aware that Sheriff Luna is taking this matter seriously and working on a plan. I stand by him and am ready to help our Sheriff get all resources he needs to get the job done."

Investigators have not confirmed if the shootings are connected. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.  Tips can also be submitted anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.