BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — Authorities blame a gang rivalry for a mass shooting at a California house party for teenagers over the weekend that injured 14 people, officials said Monday.
The party at a Bakersfield-area home grew to more than 150 people after it was publicized on social media.
A fight broke out, prompting parents at the home to force three people to leave, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said. The three later returned, and at least one of them opened fire on the crowd with a semi-automatic handgun.
“This is a brazen attack on a group of people,” he said. “When you shoot into a crowd of people, you don’t know who you’re going to hit, what kind of damage you’re going to do.”
Youngblood said one person in the crowed fired back.
Two shooting victims were hospitalized in critical condition and are expected to survive. The remaining 12 victims also suffered gunshot wounds, but their injuries were less serious, Youngblood said.
Detectives have determined a gang rivalry prompted the fight, and they are trying to identify the suspects who opened fire, Youngblood said. No one has been arrested, and the sheriff said witnesses have not cooperated with investigators.
Officials are considering whether to cite the parents under a county social host ordinance because alcohol was served, Youngblood said.
Violations carry fines of up to $1,000, the county’s website says.
Alicia Wallace said Sunday her two teenage children begged to hold the party.
The fight started at about 1 a.m. Saturday. The three ejected partygoers returned a short time later as the party was being shut down, firing from the street on the crowd in the front of the home.
The victims included a 13-year-old and Wallace’s husband, Jessie, who was treated and released from the hospital.
“I’m sorry for what happened to the kids that was here last night,” Wallace told KBAK-TV (http://bit.ly/29FvMA5) in Bakersfield. “My heart goes out to every mother, every child.”
Information from: KBAK-TV, http://www.bakersfieldnow.com/