SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A crime wave in Sacramento’s Oak Park community has neighbors on edge again. A drive-by shooting Wednesday last night killed one person and wounded a second.
“We just can’t let the violence keep going on like this,” said Anthony Brown, a longtime Oak Park resident.
The violence in Anthony Brown’s Oak Park neighborhood is loud and clear.
“I heard it, bang, bang, bang — I’m like, that’s not fireworks,” said Brown.
It was gunshots from a drive-by shooting, and the second in days. This time it took the life of a 19-year-old man. Two days earlier, less than a mile away, gunfire struck a pregnant woman attending a memorial for a relative killed in a separate shooting. Police say she’s recovering and her baby, born early, is doing well. But for many here, the community isn’t getting any better.
“The only way this is going to come together is the community has to work together,” said Brown.
Oak Park is no stranger to working together. Some pockets have transformed into urban hotspots. But for those crime spots unable to escape their dangerous reputation, there are programs offering hope.
One program, The City of Refuge, says it empowers kids through boxing and fight clubs.
“Really giving boys some powerful tools to fight in the right way,” said Rachelle Ditmore.
Rachelle and Loren Ditmore started this because they know what it’s like.
“I was that kid. That kid who struggled as a youth and was involved in something I shouldn’t, he said,” said Loren.
Councilwoman Angelique Ashby is a close friend, and one of the city leaders championing the cause. This week, Ashby joined Mayor Steinberg and made an urgent plea for investment in new intervention programs. But officials say the city budget already approved that money.
If tens of thousands of dollars were already allocated to helping this community, what’s the holdup?” said Ashby. “I think it’s a matter of identifying the priorities…which things will work.”
For Brown, it’s been 60 years since he moved to Oak Park, and he’s still waiting on change.
“I’ve seen the worst of this… and it’s back,” he said.
The next Oak Park public safety meeting is tonight at Shiloh Baptist Church at 6 p.m. The address is 3565 9th Avenue, Sacramento.