STOCKTON (CBS13) – The Memorial Day Weekend was a particularly violent one in Stockton. Five people shot and two were killed — all in the span of two hours Sunday night.
One of the victims was a 16-year-old boy. Police are working to determine whether the shootings are connected or gang-related.READ MORE: 44 Structures Now Destroyed As Dixie Fire Grows To 240,795 Acres
Community groups are determined to stop the violence
“This don’t make no sense. A good brother that’s always giving,” said an unidentified Stockton man.
Candles mark the spot where a man who goes by the name Love was killed outside of the Polo Runs apartment complex on Palisades Drive
“I can’t imagine why anyone would target him; he was a good guy,” said Carolyn Hammond, Love’s friend.
It was the city’s second homicide in a single day.
“Any shootings over zero is too many shootings,” said Hammond.
Several hours later, four people, including a boy, 16, were struck by gunfire at the Central Oak apartments on Oak Street. That boy died at the scene.
“It fills me up with so much anger,” said Stockton resident Valentine Silva.READ MORE: Search Continues For Woman Missing Following Boating Accident
Silva says anger drove him to start a new youth-led nonprofit called Stockton Speaks.
“Right after the Parkland shooting, we brought the down march for our lives event to Stockton. Had about 800 in attendance advocating about gun violence,” said Silva.
The group regularly visits Stockton schools to get the youth involved in violence prevention.
Just the other day, we were at Stagg High School rallying up the kids,” said Silva.
This, after the city found 30 percent of its population is 18 years old or younger and many of the recent shootings involve young people.
“We need to build the trust with the community. That is a resource for the community to use,” he said.
Silva believes education and cooperation are key in reducing the number of shootings.
“It’s going to take our local officials, these nonprofits that work towards educating the community, and treating the trauma that is created by this violence,” he said.
Violence some of the victims friends and family want to end.
“I think we need a little bit more education, a little bit more love and understanding as human beings,” said Hammond.MORE NEWS: Forward Progress Stopped In 5 Fires That Threatened Structures In Calaveras County
Stockton Speaks is recruiting young people to get involved with the organization. It’s also partnering with other groups like the Brady Campaign to curb gun violence.