Gang Prevention Play in Sanger

July 11, 2009 10:20:44 PM PDT
They hope it teaches people a very value lesson Police in Sanger say gang violence has increased in the area over the last couple of weeks. To curb that violence, former gang members took part in today's intervention, hoping they can help people get out of gangs and stop people from joining them.

Based on a true story, former gang members acted out their past lives at a gang intervention event held at Sanger High School Saturday.

"Hey, you gonna be at the funeral? Yeah I'll be there. All right man, we'll talk more then."

Joseph Lopez's role in the play is very similar to his past. But after being shot twice and watching his friends die, Lopez decided to make a change. "I just got tired of the way my life was going and someone told me that there's a way out of it."

Saturday's event comes as Sanger police investigate a string of gang-related shootings. Last week, someone was shot while sitting in the drive through at Jack in the Box.

"We've just kinda had a surge of gang violence and most of it is going on between rival gang members within town."

As a precaution, people who attended Saturday's gang intervention were searched before walking inside. Ronnie Calderon, a former Sanger gang-member, who organized the event, says he wanted the community to live and learn his mistakes.

"We don't want to entertain them, but we want to impact them in a special way that would cause a change to take place in their life."

"My son's in there right now to show him that he doesn't need to grow up to be a gang member. I want him to grow up straight, go to school, become somebody. That's why we're here today."

Law enforcement agencies, including the Fresno County Sheriff's office and Sanger Police were at today's intervention. It drew in hundreds of people and was the biggest event of its kind to ever be held in Sanger.

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