It’s been a troubling couple of weeks in Fairfield, beginning with the Feb. 15 shooting death of 16-year-old Naomy Rojas and continuing with a rash of gunfire that’s left five others injured.
We now know that as police investigated the various shootings, they remained focused on catching those responsible for killing Rojas. The payoff came this week when four Fairfield men were arrested in connection with the Fairfield High School student’s death.
One of her suspected killers was arrested within a stone’s throw of the crime scene on Phoenix Drive. Another was arrested a few blocks away, across the nearby railroad tracks, on Rodando Avenue in Suisun City. Four guns were found in the process.
Police suspect that the four men, ages 19 to 24, were looking for someone who was with Rojas, and that she was not the intended target.
We don’t yet know the particulars – that information will come out as the case progresses through the courts – but we do know that a group of people were hanging out late at night near the railroad tracks on a holiday weekend, that trouble found them, and a teenage girl was killed.
What’s particularly troubling is that at least three of the four men suspected of killing Rojas have recent criminal histories, as detailed in an article published in Saturday’s edition. Police said two are known gang members.
About the only thing that could make this worse is if one or more of the suspects was out of prison through the state’s mandated prisoner release program. That does not appear to be the case, based on the jail booking information for each man.
One theme in the majority of the recent shootings is age: Those involved are generally teenagers or young adults.
People in two cars began shooting at one another Feb. 17 in the area of Clay Bank Road and Sanderling Drive. Two men in one of the cars, ages 27 and 33, were shot, as was an innocent bystander. Those in the other vehicle got away, so we don’t know if they are young or older.
A 17-year-old boy was shot in the abdomen Feb. 23 on Wyoming Street. A 20-year-old man was shot Thursday outside a store on East Pacific Avenue after an apparent argument with two other men.
That’s also the case in the city’s first homicide of the year, which remains unsolved. Terrell Brumfield, 21, of Fairfield, was gunned down Jan. 3 at Parkway Gardens. Police have said several people were nearby when Brumfield was killed, but no witnesses have come forward.
Police are doing what they can to break the cycle of violence, as evidenced by this week’s arrests in the Rojas case. They need our help as well.
If you saw something related to any of these cases, let the police know. If you have influence on a teenager or young adult, warn them away from criminal activity and those likely to commit violence. You know who they are. If you don’t, your children do. They are young men who move about the community while armed. That’s wrong. Dead wrong.
It’s the only way for us to take back our city, and to stop burying our children.