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Over 110 shootings in Long Beach in first 4 months of the year

A teenager walking to work, a veteran cleaning his yard and a man outside a bar on Second Street are just three of the victims killed by gun violence that has plagued Long Beach in the first four months of the year.

Data released to NBC4 shows 114 shootings took place between Jan. 1 and April 30 with 37 of them striking victims.

“In response to a recent increase in violent crime, we’ve increased our patrols and engagement efforts in the areas impacted by violence,” said a statement from Long Beach Police Department. “Our officers and detectives continue to take enforcement action, making arrests and recovering illegal firearms. We are utilizing a data-driven approach to allocate our resources to deter additional crime in our community.”

There were just 89 shootings reported to Long Beach Police during the same period in 2023 and 115 in 2022.

Police have made significant arrests in many of the fatal shootings this year. 

On April 10, police announced the arrest of four young men connected to the April 4 murder of U.S Veteran Mario Morales Moreno. Police said Moreno was killed by a stray bullet as he was cleaning his yard in North Long Beach.

On Feb. 22, police arrested 24-year-old Christopher Rene Salguero in the shooting death of 32-year-old Johnny Santos in Belmont Shore.

But police still have come up short in the murder investigation of 17-year-old Brianna Soto.

“Brianna was walking home from work when she was gunned down,” said Deputy Chief Gerardo Prieto. “She is an innocent victim of gun violence.”

Police have released surveillance video and a still photo of the potential shooter and hope someone will come forward. 

“Families don’t feel safe, not even in their houses,” said Lilia Ocampo, who lives near downtown Long Beach and asked for more to be done to combat the violence. “The community lives in fear that a bullet is going to enter your house and kill one of your children or yourself.”

“We hear you loud and clear,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “We’ve had a lot of high profile shootings in the last six weeks.”

Ocampo said the violence has been persistent in her neighborhood for months with more guns shots being heard at all hours of the day.

Police released photos of more than two dozen guns seized by officers since January. Many of them illegal, unregistered and used in some of these fatal shootings.

“Our community’s are hurting, and everyday we are losing lives to violence and gun violence,” said Ariana Sahagún, from the community non-profit Centro CHA. “Enough is enough.”

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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