After a pair of shootings that both involved small children, Bakersfield Police Chief Lyle Martin has had enough.
In a statement, Martin said the police department will use all legal means to find those responsible for a Feb. 23 California Avenue drive-by shooting that left 5-year-old Kason Guyton dead and his brother, Brian, wounded. A Thursday night shooting at a Q Street apartment left one man dead and a woman wounded, but between the victims was a six-month child, who was unhurt in the shooting. A 5-year-old child was also in the apartment at the time of the shooting.
“The Bakersfield Police Department will thoroughly investigate these attacks,” Martin said. “We will pursue all leads. I have directed my personnel to use every legal means available to bring the murderers to justice. Additional officers are working to investigate these murders and to suppress all criminal activity by the groups responsible. I call upon this community to join us in seeking justice for these victims and to stop senseless acts of gun violence that are traumatizing and killing our city’s children.”
While police say there is no connection in the shootings, they do believe they are connected to street gangs.
Investigators believe the suspects in both incidents intentionally targeted the victims and these were not random acts. Specific facts of each case have led us to the conclusion that these incidents are likely gang-related. Although the individuals responsible for these crimes are not yet known, we have identified the groups likely responsible.
Citizens can provide information anonymously through text message by simply entering 274637 into your phone and text BPDCRIMES along with your message. Citizens can provide information anonymously through a phone line dedicated for the reporting of gang related information: 661-325-GANG (4262)