Bakersfield has already seen its fair share of shootings so far this year.
There have been eight fatal shootings and 23 non-fatal ones between Jan. 1 and April 26, according to data from the Bakersfield Police Department. Half of those deaths happened in April alone.
This year is already on its way to meeting or surpassing the 20 shooting deaths that were recorded in 2018. From January through April 2018, there were 10 reported fatal shootings, about in line with this year.
However, BPD could be on track for fewer non-fatal shootings this year, as there were 102 in 2018, according to the department.
“We do what we can to try to control it,” BPD Public Information Officer Nathan McCauley said of the shootings. “We still have our units monitoring the activity on the streets. We try to educate high-risk youths.”
Here’s a breakdown of the fatal shootings in 2019 through April 26:
New Year's Day: The Bakersfield Police Department responded to an apartment complex in the 3100 block of H St. at around 3:40 p.m. on Jan. 1 after getting a report of a shooting. Officers found 43-year-old Edgar Lopez, who was shortly pronounced dead due to fatal gunshot wounds.
Jan. 8: At around 2:30 p.m., officers were sent to the 800 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. after getting reports of an assault. When they arrived, officers found 19-year-old Louis Arturo Hernandez with severe gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Jan. 28: A 29-year-old man was fatally shot in east Bakersfield. BPD said officers were sent to the 1300 block of Pacific Street at around 5:15 p.m. When they arrived, they found 29-year-old Jose Francisco Cachu with gunshot wounds. He was taken to Kern Medical Center for treatment but died from his injuries.
Valentine's Day: A bystander was killed in the crossfire during a gun battle that happened on Feb. 14. The Bakersfield Police Department said at around 4:30 p.m., officers were sent to the intersection of Haley and Quincy streets after getting reports of a shooting. When they arrived, officers found three men with gunshot wounds. One of them, 57-year-old Manuel Sanchez Figueroa, died at the scene. The other men were taken to a local hospital for treatment.
April 8: Jamore Joseph Holliday, 47, was killed from gunshot wounds. BPD said at around 1:21 a.m., officers were sent to the 700 block of 32nd Street, where they located Holliday. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
April 13: Daniel Jeremy Macias, 24, was pronounced dead from gunshot wounds when police arrived at a shopping center on Panama Lane, just east of South H Street, shortly after 11 p.m. The department said officers found Macias sitting in his vehicle.
April 23: BPD officers were sent to an apartment in the 4100 block of Parker Avenue at 1:54 a.m. after getting a report of a victim of a shooting. They found Robert Raymond Dominguez with several gunshot wounds. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment but was later pronounced dead, police said.
April 26: BPD responded to a report of shots fired near 2801 Fordham St. on April 26 and found two men with gunshot wounds. One of them, 36-year-old Enrique Meza Guadron, was pronounced dead at the scene. The other man was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
If the number of shooting deaths this year happen to exceed those of last year, 2019’s numbers could be more comparable to those from 2017. In that year, the Bakersfield Police Department reported 30 fatal shootings.
McCauley credited last year’s reduction in shooting deaths in part to the implementation of ShotSpotter technology, in which sensors have been placed in various areas around town that detect and record gunfire and alert the police — within less than a minute — to the location of the gunfire.
McCauley said the system has allowed officers to get to crime scenes more quickly and start administering medical aid sooner to victims of gunshot wounds, which helps saves lives.
“ShotSpotter has definitely helped in terms of response,” he said. “It’s been pretty successful and gives us additional sources to use when responding to shootings.”
McCauley said when the city hires more officers using the funding from the 1 percent sales tax increase approved by voters last year through Measure N, that could have a significant impact on further reducing shooting deaths.
“More officers and more resources would be the biggest change in working to reduce the number of fatal shootings,” he said.