BY REBECCA KHEEL Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
An investigation into the shooting of a 12-year-old boy Monday night is at a standstill after the boy was uncooperative and police found few witnesses, Bakersfield police said.
A little after 8 p.m., the boy was shot in his ankle in a drive-by shooting outside of Aneese Market in the 600 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, said Sgt. Joe Grubbs. There are no indications the boy was targeted. Police are also not sure if the shooting was gang related, Grubbs said.
Police are not releasing the victim's name because he is a juvenile, Grubbs said.
Police have learned little from the investigation because the boy was not cooperative, Grubbs said. "But I don't know the purpose of that, whether it was because he was in pain or just wanted to be a bad guy and not cooperate," Grubbs said.
Police also sought witnesses in the neighborhood, but have found very few, he said.
Parents and grandparents in the community said they are rattled by the shooting.
On Wednesday, Redena Jenkins was house sitting on Murdock Street, about two blocks from the shooting. She hasn't let her children, one of whom is a 12-year-old son, come to stay with her in what she sees as an unsafe area.
"No one should let their kids go to the store," she said. "I would never allow my kids to go on that road with all that activity."
Rotanza Randolph, who lives on Murdock Street, has a 12-year-old grandson who was visiting her Wednesday. Her son doesn't often come to visit with her grandson, she said, because the son thinks the neighborhood is unsafe.
She said she doesn't know what she would do if her grandson were shot.
"I hope parents pay attention to what's going on," she said.
About a mile away from the shooting is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park. Gina Fitz was there Wednesday with her sons. She'd like to move away from the area, she said, because of the criminal activity.
"It's dangerous, everything around the park," she said.