Recent shootings in San Joaquin leaving community on edge and hoping for change

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Two shootings, one that ended with a 19-year-old dead, has left the San Joaquin community on edge.

"At this point, I know the community has more questions than we have answers for," says San Joaquin Mayor Amarpreet Dhaliwal.

RELATED: 17-year-old boy arrested, charged with murder of 19-year-old in San Joaquin

On Monday, residents like Cecil Viramontes came together while sitting six feet apart in hopes of coming up with a solution to the spike in gang crime.

"I have grandkids there," he said. "They're so scared."

Viramontes says he's always felt safe in his small community until recently, when one of those shootings occurred a short distance away from his home.

"My grandkids were screaming," he said. "They were traumatized."

Fresno County sheriff's deputies arrested a 17-year-old for the death of Yorby Urbieta last week.

They later arrested three gang members for a separate drive-by shooting that happened two days later in the same spot.

RELATED: 3 gang members arrested on charges of attempted murder for drive-by shooting in San Joaquin

In response to the recent crime, the sheriff's office increased patrols this past weekend in San Joaquin, making over 70 vehicle stops and 17 probation searches.

"We brought a lot of deputies, made a lot of stops and did what we needed to do to get to the bottom of violence," says Lt. Brent Stalker.

But residents want to see programs in place for kids before they get involved in gangs.

"We have a community center that sits empty," a resident said. "We need more activities."

City officials say they will take those ideas and continue to look at ways to combat the increase in crime

Viramontes just hopes for a safer place for his grandkids and the community to call home.
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