STOCKTON (CBS13) — Thursday night marked the fifth shooting death in a week in Stockton. The victim was just 21 years old and died at the hospital.
On Tuesday, there was another death. This time a 19-year-old was killed and, in the same incident, an 18-year-old was shot. And on Monday, a 35-year-old man was found shot inside a car on Chateau Drive.
And it's not just deadly shootings. Stockton police reported 3 different robberies Thursday night. Two of them were in the Park District and the other was in the Seaport District. Police say the suspects are all males in their 20s.
It is unclear if any of those robberies are connected.
This spree has come in the middle of a crime drop. The mayor said the city's seen a reduction in homicides by 30% in the last year.
One community leader said he pays attention to these types of losses but is focused on the bigger picture: prevention and support in those crucial growing-up years
A work in progress is the future home of the Razor Youth Center, a community partnership with Raising Youth Resilience, a nonprofit out of Stockton that provides mentorship and support in school – and beyond.
"Hurt doesn't stop during the school day," said John Norman, Sr., the CEO of Raising Youth Resilience. "It goes on."
This program is building from the ground up, literally. This space was set to be funded partially through a partnership with the Stockton Unified School District, but Norman said that funding is no more.
"As we stand the contract in place is just at a standstill, there's no payments, there's no services as we're waiting to hear back," he said.
Norman said the standstill in the middle of a violent week only proves this space and individual support is a must in Stockton.
"Everywhere you go, you're going to see a problem with truancy, going to see a problem with suspensions, then you're going to not see, not hear how they're aligned with crime," he said.
The office of violence prevention is part of the plan to keep the city on track in reducing homicides and crime overall.
"And so they work with victims of violent crime, and they do outreach to them and their families in order to give them the opportunity to get out of the violent lifestyle or to provide assistance to them as well," Norman said.
While he waits for funding – or community support – Norman said he's expanded the nonprofit's work to Elk Grove because the need doesn't follow city lines.
The chief of police told us none of these homicides are related and there are no signs that they're tied to gang activity. Part of the response to this week was added patrol units in those areas.
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