Six people were shot at a party in California on Saturday, which police officials noted was being held despite the state’s stay-at-home order currently being in place. Police confirmed that during the gathering, five adults between the ages of 19-31 and one teenager suffered injuries from multiple gunshots. The victims included four women, one man, and a 14-year-old girl who all attended an apartment complex gathering in Bakersfield, just north of Los Angeles.
Police officials arrived at the scene of the shooting at 12:26 a.m. on Saturday morning before victims were taken to a local hospital. According to Angela Monroe, the Kern County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer, "several hundred people" were attending the party before the shooting occurred. A local KGET report estimated some 400 to 500 partygoers, though police could not confirm this exact number.
The suspects were described as four Black men driving a white sedan, and police say they are continuing to investigate the incident. Despite reports that one partygoer fired shots back at the gunmen, Monroe's office could not confirm at this time whether or not there was an immediate response from other guests.
The victims, according to a statement released by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, were treated for non-life threatening injuries. While no arrests have been made in the days since, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office is encouraging anyone with information to call the sheriff's office at either their office phone number or their Secret Witness Line for anonymity.
The party and the shootings come in the middle of California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom’s statewide stay-at-home order, which he issued on March 19 to combat the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the United States and the world. It is unclear what the purpose of the gathering was, or why it took place despite standard social distancing and self-quarantining guidelines have been enacted throughout the U.S.
There have been over 558,000 cases and over 22,000 deaths since the novel coronavirus outbreak began, and states are taking measures to stop the spread as much as possible — including the banning of all public gatherings, even religious ones. The coronavirus death toll in California currently sits at 676 as of April 13. Gov. Newsom has ordered the stay-at-home order remain in place until May 15, which extended the original mandate that was expected to end on April 19.
This is an ongoing story. We will update as we know more.