KERN COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The growing fear of violence in the South Valley after a string of deadly shootings over the last few days has, in some communities, prompted football game cancellations.
“It’s kind of confusing, it’s kind of scary,” said Rachael Gonzalez, grandmother of a high school freshman in Wasco, Kern County. “We only live about two blocks away from the school, so she’s always been walking to school. And yesterday she told me for the first time ‘Grandma can you take me to school?’ and I said ‘Why?’ She says well because there’s some shootings going on and I’m afraid to walk to school.”
The Kern County Sheriff’s Office released information about three shootings in Wasco this week. Though they said there are no credible threats to schools or events, the Wasco Union High School District is taking precautions.
“In light of the recent violence in and around the community, the district decided that it was best to cancel all extracurricular activities, including last night’s home football game against Delano High School,” said Kevin Tallon, acting superintendent.
Delano has seen shootings this week, too. On Monday, Tulare County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a drive-by shooting in Delano near County Line Road where two people died.
The Delano police chief said they continue to receive threats of school shootings on social media.
“Each of our communities have had information swirling that there are increased threats of violence towards our schools, however, none of us have been able to substantiate any of those threats,” said Chief Tyson Davis.
He said while there is no uptick in crime, they are taking those threats seriously until they can prove their validity.
But the fear is still there.
“Something has to be done about all these problems that are going on in these small towns,” said Gonzalez.