PLANADA, Calif. - Typically, we hear law enforcement and adults calling for peace in the community. But tonight, it was Planada's youth asking for an end to the violence.
For as long as these students can remember gunshots have accompanied their childhood--once timid voices are intimidated no more.
"Our youth is fed up with it. We're tired of having to live in fear. We can't roam the streets. We can't play basketball," said high school Senior Julian Diaz.
In open defiance of the gangs and the violence that have plagued Planada streets. Students from Le Grand high school held a very public candlelight vigil. It is clear the town shares their sorrow.
"To be free is to not live in fear, that is part of their message tonight," said Javier Martinez.
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The students planned the candlelight vigil to bring everyone together and try to come up with short and long-term solutions to stop the violence.
In the past months, there have been two homicides and at least 12 other shootings.
Deputies say their patrols can only do so much. They have struggled to get people in town to cooperate.
"Sometimes we're afraid we say we're afraid of saying something, but at the same time, we are losing our young people. So it comes to the point afraid of what?" Olivia Gomez.
As they marched attitudes began to shift Tuesday. Families saw they were not alone. They also saw the determination of their children.
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"What was really powerful is that everybody stayed, nobody fled in fear, that's really big," said Diaz.
Unity out of a tragedy that starts with involvement.