SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — Fifty-five shootings in 50 days.
There has been more than one shooting per day in Santa Ana in 2016READ MORE: Historic: NASA Rover Produces Oxygen On Surface Of Mars
CBS2’s Michele Gile on Friday looked at what is causing the increase in crime and the toll it’s taking on the community.
“How many bad people are there in this world?” asked an 11-year-old boy whose family has been touched by gun violence.
“This has been my neighborhood for as long as I could remember,” says Jesus Gonzales, “and it’s just turned into the Devil’s home.”
Gile first encountered the youngster at a vigil for his cousin — Francisco — murdered three days ago on South Harmon Street.
“A white car just randomly pulled in over here,” he said pointing out the murder scene, “and the guy fired three bullets and one hit Francisco in the chest.”
Police said the shooting was unprovoked and the 51st this year. There have been four in the three days since.
Santa Ana recorded 297 shootings in all of 2015.
“What we’re seeing in Santa Ana, we’re seeing some very brazen individuals who are willing to challenge authority and assault our police officers and members of our community, ” said SA Police Department Chief Carlos Rojas.
In the past 72 hours, a parolee’s bullet grazed an officer’s head during a shootout. Two alleged gang members were killed by police on Thursday during what they called a botched burglary.
One reason for the spike in crime. Rojas called it the Proposition 47 effect — criminals who once committed a felony and arrested are now giving a citation and walking the streets.READ MORE: Hate Crime Charges Filed Against Michael Vivona In Attack On Elderly Korean Couple At Grijalva Park In Orange
After San Francisco, Santa Ana is the most densely populated city in the state.
“I could barely [stay] in school,” Gonzales said, “I couldn’t handle it.”
And there is no answer to his question — “How many bad people are there in this world?”
Rojas believes the police and community can come together to take back the streets — many of the crimes he said were gang-related.
He told Gile officers need to rely on their training to stay safe and they need to take care of one another.
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