In April of 2013, Sacramento police officers feared a gang war was starting up again after members of a Mack Road gang posted a video on YouTube “dissing” their rivals. In a period of 24 hours, 3 area shootings were tied to this video, including one in which Alonzo Walsh was killed outside of his home.
This has been part of a bigger gang war between an Oak Park gang and another from Mack Road that dates back to 2006 it has taken the lives of dozens of teens and adults alike, after many “diss videos” were uploaded to YouTube. Eric Espinoza, a long time Oak Park resident, thinks that some of the same issues from last year have started up again.
“There has been tension there ever since I started high school or at least that is when I remember it back in 2006 when Rob (Robert Lee Haynes) was murdered. What I’ve heard lately is that its starting up again,” said Espinoza.
During the week of March 15th, a video was posted to YouTube featuring a local Oak Park rapper who was believed to be a part of the gang activity last year.
“I think this is going to get out of proportion and it is going to involve a lot more people than before,” said Espinoza.
Authorities have confirmed that at least 3 different shooting can be attributed to the escalating tension between the two neighborhoods, leaving six people injured all of whom had ties to gangs.
Spring time usually brings more gang violence but authorities were caught off guard by the amount of violence in such a short period of time.
“This was a lot in a short period of time,” said Sgt Tom Little the head of the gang unit.
Police have reached out to local churches who are willing to help by putting up fliers with mugshots of the suspects with the primary goal being to “save the generation”.
“We know that this is a hard decision to make, to put out there that these are some folks that (the police are) looking for and these churches are supporting them, That’s a hard thing to say, but it’s a harder thing to bury a kid. It’s a harder thing when there’s violence in south Sacramento and nobody’s doing anything about it,” said Les Simmons the pastor of South Sacramento Christian Center.
Police are “beefing up” the amount of officers in Oak Park and Mack Road.
Officers will meet at Tuesday’s City Council meeting to review the issues they face at the request of Councilmember Jay Schenirer who represents Oak Park.
Photo courtesy of Flickr