Six Shootings in Over 60 Hours Worry Long Beach Officials

A spate of violence kicked off in Long Beach over 60 hours from July 4 to July 7

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An uptick of shootings over the Fourth of July weekend in Long Beach was a step backward for the city that had only experienced one shooting in an eight month period prior to the holiday, said Al Austin, Long Beach city councilman. Hetty Chang reports for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. from Long Beach Tuesday, July 8, 2014. (Published Tuesday, Jul 8, 2014)

    Long Beach police have their hands full after a violent Fourth of July weekend left one man dead and several others injured.

    Police responded to a total of six shootings in the city from July 4 through July 7, including a homicide that killed Kayon Dafney, 23 of Long Beach, according to police.

    Many residents who live in the 6500 block of Gardenia Avenue in North Long Beach told NBC4 they thought the loud popping noises they heard were fireworks.

    Police responded to shots fired at 12:30 p.m. on July 4 to find a victim of an apparent gunshot wound. He was later identified as Dafney.

    "I went to the car wash," said Kevin Dafney, Kayon's father. "I get a phone call that my son is laying out in the street shot, so I come home. It was just a terrible sight."

    All but two of the six shootings, including the one that killed Dafney, are being investigated as gang related.

    While the string of shootings is unusual to have happened one after the other, in a such a short period of time, according to police, the number of shootings is actually down 30 percent in Long Beach compared to this time last year.

    Gang activity is also down, according to police and the city has had its lowest crime rate in nearly 40 years.

    Many of the shootings happened in City Councilman Al Austin's district, who said the recent shootings should not be a reflection of the progress his district has made.

    "Up until Fourth of July weekend, I think we experienced one shooting -- in an eight-month period, so it was very unsettling and unfortunate," he said. "We don't need violent crime in our community anymore. It's just a step backwards and we have to do all we can to prevent that in the future."

    Austin is encouraging residents to cooperate with police to bring those responsible to justice.

    The other five incidents are:

    • On July 4 at 1:30 p.m., police responded to an assault with a deadly weapon call in the 5800 block of Elm Avenue. Once police arrived, they found a man who suffered a non-life threatening wound to his arm. It appeared the man was sitting in a vehicle when a gunman fired from another vehicle, breaking a window.
    • On July 4 at 3:02 p.m., police responded to an assault with a deadly weapon call in the 5500 block of Ackerfield Avenue. Police found a man suffering from what appeared to be a non-life threatening gunshot wound.;
    • On July 4 at 4:10 p.m., officers responded to a shooting call at East 15th Street and Pine Avenue. The gunshot victim suffered a non-life threatening wound.;
    • On July 6, at 12:35 a.m, officers were dispatched to a report of shots heard in the area of Spring Street and Santa Fe Avenue. Once there, officers found a man who suffered a non-life threatening gunshot wound.
    • On July 7 at 12:45 a.m., officers were responded to a report of shots heard in the area of Lemon Avenue and South Street. Officers found that an occupied residential apartment building in the 1000 block of East South Street was hit by gunfire. A check of the area turned up no gunshot victims.