Desert Hot Springs, CA
A man was found dead inside his home in Desert Hot Springs Wednesday night, on the same street and only a few houses down from where a body was found on Monday morning. Now residents in the neighborhood are asking if there is a gang war happening on their block.
"We hear shots all the time, like off in the distance, we hear shots close by, we heard the one Monday. The one the week before that. There have been a couple of incidents where you just heard random gunfire," said neighborhood resident Mandy Ferrell.
Police say gangs are known to occupy the neighborhood and a recent spike in violence has some residence asking if a gang war is underway.
"Of course we’re concerned of whether it is it gang-related or not. Whether there’s a "gang war" going on…we’ve not heard anything, any rumblings on the street…and so I don’t know exactly what to attribute that to yet. But of course that’s a huge concern for us," said Desert Hot Springs Police Chief Dale Mondary.
On Wednesday night police responded yet again to reports of gunfire on 6th Street between West Drive and Cactus Drive in Desert Hot Springs.
"I grabbed the kids and put them in the middle of the house so they weren’t near any windows … There was two shooters. You could hear maybe like a nine millimeter, really loud and then a smaller one maybe a twenty-two," said neighborhood resident Susan Higgs.
When police arrived they could see blood on the doorstep. Inside they found the body of an Hispanic male. The second body found on the same street in less than three days.
"There is evidence that is kind of leading towards that they are related in some fashion," Mondary said.
Desert Hot Springs Police want residents to know they are not taking the escalation in violence lightly.
"It just makes me sick to my stomach knowing these incidents are occurring and people don’t feel safe in particular neighborhoods. And I just want to reassure them, there’s things they can do to protect themselves and keeping us involved, keeping us informed," Modary said. "We’re going to do everything we can in this city to make those neighborhoods safe."
Shortly after the shooting on Wednesday night was reported, a shooting victim showed up at Eisenhower Medical Center. Police sent a detective to the hospital to see whether that victim was connected to the shooting in Desert Hot Springs. Police say it appears to be related but it’s still too early in their investigation to say so for sure.