A few streets away from where a 13-year-old resident was killed by a stray bullet while playing a video game in his bedroom on Saturday, Pasadena city leaders gathered on Monday, Nov. 22, vowed to find a solution to gun violence in the community.
“We cannot continue to take the same approach to public safety in this city or region and expect different results,” Mayor Victor Gordo said on the stairs of City Hall.
Iran Moreno-Balvaneda, an eighth grade student at Blair School, was playing a video game at her home on the 900 block of North Raymond Avenue on Saturday night when shots were fired nearby. The boy was killed and later died in a hospital. Police said the target of the shooting was unknown, but it did not appear to be a juvenile.
“All I want to say is that we have lost an innocent life in Pasadena,” said Councilman John Kennedy, using his trademark soaring voice to call on the shooter – or those who know the shooter – to turn himself in. For.
As the deputy chief of police in Richmond, Virginia, Kennedy is no stranger to gun violence — but that doesn’t make it any easier to bear this weekend’s tragedy, he said.
There were 66 documented shootings in Pasadena this year, said Pasadena Police spokesman Lt. William Griseff. He said that three people, including Iran, were killed and 16 people were injured in the firing. He said some of the shootings were gang related, but he did not have exact figures.
Jessica Rivas, whose fifth district in Pasadena is also grappling with gun violence, said she appreciates the hard work of all officers who have increased their patrols in recent days. But it’s more complicated than just patrolling, she said.
“We can’t police to get out of this,” Rivas said.
She continued: “It’s a huge problem. It’s one that we must solve because every child in their city deserves to be safe in our neighborhoods, on our streets, in our schools or parks, and especially in their homes.” Is.
Deputy Chief of Police Cheryl Moody said officers have seized more than 700 firearms in the past two years.
“The Police Department will continue in our commitment to use all available resources, including additional patrols, intelligence gathering, investigations and various strategies,” Moody said. “But we need your help.”
Moody’s encouraged anyone with information to contact the police department as soon as possible.
Pasadena has been grappling with gun-related incidents in recent months.
From January 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021, Pasadena police responded to more than 300 “shooting” calls and nearly 400 calls for gun-related crimes, including robberies with guns, assaults with guns, and gun possession. Griseff said nine people were fatally shot during that period and about 30 were wounded.
In late October, four people were injured in four separate shootings in the city and an emergency meeting with leaders of the Pasadena Police Department, City Manager Steve Marmel and members of the City Council at the Jackie Robinson Community Center.
The violence prompted nearly 100 mothers, youth leaders and other local dignitaries to express their apprehensions about the dangerous trend.
The shootings appear to be gang related, according to Griseff, who said detectives were working to identify suspects and investigate whether the shootings were linked.
“Preliminary information suggests that these shootings are not random acts but gang members involved in the conflict,” he said at the October meeting.