A 19-year-old concertgoer was stabbed to death Sunday night outside of the Fox Theater after a Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony show turned violent, police officials said.
The concertgoer, identified Monday as Kasey Villegas of Bakersfield, was stabbed several times and died after being taken to Kern Medical Center, according to a Bakersfield Police Department news release.
A suspect has not yet been arrested, BPD Sgt. Ryan Kroeker said.
“Detectives are still working the case and working leads in attempts to find anybody involved,” Kroeker said.
Police responded to the downtown concert venue just before 11 p.m. after receiving reports of a large fight that broke out outside the theater.
Details remain unclear, however BPD officials said that both the suspect and victim had attended the hip-hop concert prior to the incident.
Resa Deanna attended the concert and said she saw a fight inside between two men, and then the two went outside just before Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony left the stage.
“I don’t know exactly what started it, but later, once the actual show began, one guy went outside and the other signaled his friend and they followed,” Deanna said. It’s unclear whether the fight Deanna saw inside was related to the later stabbing.
Meanwhile, some downtown business owners are worrying that the incident could put a black mark on the area, which has been building momentum recently with new businesses and plans for growth.
“It makes people who don’t live around here wary to come downtown, and it makes it that much harder for us to succeed here,” said Cynthia Price, co-owner of Blue Oak Coffee Roasting, which opened in October and is located across the street from Fox Theater.
Councilman Andrae Gonzales, who represents the downtown area and has been spearheading revitalization efforts there, said that while the homicide is a tragedy, it won’t slow progress downtown.
“It’s not a setback. It’s a tragedy, it’s unfortunate and I’m sorry to hear that somebody lost their life, but in terms of downtown revitalization, it’s not a setback,” Gonzales said.
He assured the future safety of downtown patrons, pointing to special funding secured for three police officers, who are beginning to patrol the area on bicycle. Gonzales called it a “proactive approach” to policing.
“We’re headed in the right direction,” Gonzales said. “Nothing is ever fast enough, and nothing is ever easy, but I’ll continue to work on it.”
Anyone with information about the stabbing is asked to call Detective Keegan Gavin at 661-326-3557 or BPD at 661-327-7111.