Community Forum Held In Desert Hot Springs After Shootings

Community Forum Held In Desert Hot Springs After Shootings

Martín Di Felice

Desert Hot Springs, CA

After a string of shootings in Desert Hot Springs, Word Of Life Fellowship Center brought the community together for town meeting.

"It’s gotten worse. It’s gotten much worse. Because before it wasn’t this bad. Before when I lived here it wasn’t this bad at all. People weren’t afraid to walk out at night, walking their dogs, walking to the store, or just hanging out, or anything. But now, it’s just worse," said Desert Hot Springs resident Flora Johnson.

The string of shootings in Desert Hot Springs started on 6th street where police found the bodies of two men, one on Monday and one on Wednesday. On Thursday a man was shot in the Auto Zone parking lot on Palm Drive. Then on Saturday a man was shot in the leg on El Cajon Drive. Blood stains can still be seen on the drive way.

"For me being a pastor and having a lot of kids that go to the church and live in these neighborhood, my concern is their safety. Getting to and from school. These kids are going to school, going to practice, they don’t need to be caught up in a lot of this extra stuff so. That’s my main concern, is our youth," said pastor Kephyan Sheppard.

Residents in Desert Hot Springs say they are tired of hearing gun shots, sirens and seeing crime scene tape draped in their neighborhoods. 

"It’s like all we need to do now is put on some cowboy boots, hats, ride horses, forget about the cars, go back to the wild, wild west. That’s exactly what it seems like here," said Johnson. 

The meeting will address the shootings in Desert Hot Springs last week, the police department’s response to the violence and how the community can help with the effort. Those who come will also be able to ask questions and give their two cents on what can and should be done.

"We’re talking about strategy. How we can help this community, how can help our kids, keep them safe. And how we can help our police department police this area a little better," Sheppard said.